With a silver and a bronze medal, India witnessed an increase in its medal tally at this year’s World Para Athletics Championship, from three medals to five. High Jumpers Sharad Kumar and Varun Bhati won silver and bronze medal respectively.Sharad Kumar is an alumnus of Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College. Even a 13 degree drop in the temperature at London couldn’t stop the Indian athletes. With a 1.84m high jump, Sharad Kumar recorded his career- best, coming second to USA’s Sam Gwewe only by a margin of 0.02m. Another moment of glory for India came from Bhati’s fine performance. Bhati successfully completed his jump with a recorded height of 1.77m. Both of the athletes were happy with their performance but expressed their desire to do better and win the gold next time.
“It feels good but I thought I’d jump higher than this. I’d come here chasing a gold medal, but I’ll have to make do with silver,” Sharad quoted after the win. However, Bhati seemed quite disappointed with his performance. With a dissatisfied expression he said,” My performance wasn’t the greatest but a medal is a medal. I’m not completely satisfied with my own performance.”
The heavy rains proved to be a hindrance for some athletes and some believed it prevented them from giving their best. Bhati reacted to the heavy rains by saying,” it’s quite cold so the circulation in my left leg is quite sluggish. That makes it very stiff, and that makes things difficult. But nevertheless I jumped 1.77m in this cold weather, which is my best effort in this kind of climate.” Sharad too felt the impact of the heavy rains on his performance and addressed it,” As long as we are warmed up well, it’s a beautiful weather to jump. The only reason we were having trouble was because we are one legged jumpers and the ground becomes slippery due to rain. Otherwise, it was fine for us.”
India’s medal account opened with Sundar Singh Gupta’ gold at the javelin throw event. Amit Saroha followed with a silver medal just two days later in the F-51 category. Just a day apart, Karamjyoti Dalal won a bronze medal in Wome’s F55 category. Twitter was flooded with congratulatory wishes for the winners. This year proved to be a great one for the athletes.
Feature Image Credits: Times of India