Tokyo: India’s Praveen Kumar clinched the silver medal in the men’s high jump T64 event of the Paralympics, taking the country’s haul to 11 in the ongoing Games in Tokyo. The 18-year-old Kumar, competing in his debut Paralympics, set a new Asian record with a 2.07m jump to finish behind Great Britain’s Jonathan Broom-Edwards, who notched up his season’s best of 2.10m for the gold.
The bronze went to Rio Games champion Maciej Lepiato of Poland who produced an effort of 2.04m. T64 classification is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.
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— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) September 3, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted in praise on Praveen Kumar, saying he was ‘proud of his achievement’. “Proud of Praveen Kumar for winning the Silver medal at the #Paralympics. This medal is the result of his hard work and unparalleled dedication. Congratulations to him. Best wishes for his future endeavours,” PM Modi tweeted.
Proud of Praveen Kumar for winning the Silver medal at the #Paralympics. This medal is the result of his hard work and unparalleled dedication. Congratulations to him. Best wishes for his future endeavours. #Praise4Para
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 3, 2021
T44, the disability classification that Kumar has but is eligible to compete in T64, is for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs. His impairment, which is congenital, affects the bones that connect his hip to his left leg.
The ongoing Games are turning out to be India’s best-ever and the nation has so far claimed two gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
Kumar is the second teenager in the Indian contingent after shooter Avani Lekhara to win a medal at the Games. Lekhara had won a gold and is 19 years old. The track and filed events were anticipated to give India a good medal haul and the script is unfolding just as it was expected.
Eight of India’s 11 medals have come from athletics, including one gold in men’s javelin throw through Sumit Antil (F64). India have so far won five silver medals in the athletics arena along with a bronze.