While the rest of India was glued to their TV and mobile screens watching Virat Kohli leading his side to victory in the ongoing India-England Test match in Chennai, a few of our para athletes were slogging away in Dubai and making the country proud. The 2021 Dubai Fazza Athletics Championships have been a major success for India and the cumulative Indian medal tally at the end of the event speaks volumes of the efforts put in by the participants. With 23 medals, India was placed in second position alongside Turkey and Kenya while Thailand led the way with 34 medals.
On the first day itself, discus thrower Devender Kumar took home the gold medal with a throw of 50.16m while Nimisha Suresh was the second gold medallist with a jump of 5.25m in the women’s F46/47 event enough to see her through to the top. Vinod Kumar was the other Indian competitor in the discus throw event and he won bronze in the F52 event. The first day medal breeze continued on till the evening with Pranav Desai winning silver in the 100M T64 event with a stellar timing of 11.76 seconds while Rakshita Raju finished third in the 1500m T11 event.
Over the course of the next few days, India continued to remain at the top rungs of the medal tally and witnessed some exemplary performances. High jumper Praveen managed to clear the 2.05m mark in the F42/44/64 event and this allowed him to claim the gold along with the Asian Record as well. His compatriot Nishad then went on to jump a total of 2.06m and set another personal best and Asian record in the T46/47 High jump event. Shot Putter Bhagyashri Jadhav claimed silver with her throw of 6.18m with Atul Kaushik going on to claim bronze in discus with a 42.0m throw allowing him to claim a podium finish.
Javelin thrower and World Champion Sandeep Chaudhary eased to win a gold medal with a throw of 61.22m at the same venue where he had previously won Gold at the World Paralympic Athletic Championships 2 years ago. It was an extremely proud moment for him and this continues his consistent run in para events. He was quoted saying “At Tokyo 2020, I just want to turn my dream into reality, by winning a medal. In the coming months, it will be more about following the process and staying in shape before we start our final preparation for the Tokyo 2020,”.
As President @ParalympicIndia, I am feeling extremely proud of the performance of all Para Athletes at 12th Fazza Championships World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2021.
India is in top 3 among 42 participating countries. 👏 to all coaches & administration support. #PhirKhelegaIndia pic.twitter.com/swxOS2RIBm
— Deepa Malik (@DeepaAthlete) February 14, 2021
The coaches were extremely proud of the collective effort showcased by athletes across all the track and field events. The competition has been a major platform for Indian athletes to shine and display their talent. The sporting diaspora will be hopeful of another massive medal haul in the upcoming Paralympics to be held in Tokyo later this year.