Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 24
Winning has become a habit for Amit Kumar Saroha. On Saturday, the Haryana para-athlete clinched a gold medal in the men’s club throw event (F51) at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia. The wheel-chair bound athlete hurled the club to a distance 29.42m, the season’s second best performance, to bag the gold.
“Many thanks @saimedia for all the support and motivating words. Always proud to represent my beloved country India. Much gratitude,” Amit tweeted after his triumph.
Back home, Saroha’s showing has raised hopes of a medal in the upcoming Asian Para Games. “He’s doing extremely well. Given his performance, form and preparation, we are quite sure that he will win a medal in the Asian Games as well,” said Girraj Singh, Haryana Paralympic Committee general secretary.
In 2010, Amit had won a silver in discus throw at the Asian Para Games in China. Two years later, he won a gold in the Olympics qualifier event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, breaking the Asian record along the way. At the 2014 Asian Para Games, Amit won two medals — a gold in club throw and a silver in discus throw. In 2017, he clinched a silver in club throw at the World Para Athletics Championships. His throw of 30.25m, his best so far, also set a new Asian record.
Among the various categories in para-athletics, Saroha’s handicap is quite severe. “He can’t move his body waist down, and there isn’t much strength in his arms and hands either,” said Girraj. “He can’t even hold the club in his hands; he sticks it with glue between his two fingers and then hurls it with all his might. It’s all thanks to his hard work and dedication that he’s doing so well against such odds.”
Elated with the performance, Girraj predicts a big medal haul for India at the 2020 Tokyo Para Olympics. “Para athletes are doing extremely well. We are confident of winning at least 10 medals at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Girraj.
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