Ace Indian discus thrower Jaideep Deswal ready to shine at Tokyo Paralympics
The talented discus thrower, Jaideep Deswal, is all set to give it his all on the biggest stage in what would be his second Paralympics outing.
Flashback to London 2012, Jaideep Deswal was a young and energetic 22-year-old competing in his first Paralympics in the discus throw event. The youngster from Rohtak Haryana picked up the sport back in 2007 after being egged on by his uncle and friends. His father was a recently retired officer from the Rajasthan Police force. The family lived in a small village on the outskirts of the district and were not familiar with the concept of sports, hence proving to be a huge stumbling block for the ace athlete.
Jaideep's uncle was quick to recognize his talents and encouraged him to work hard and take up the sport. Jaideep made up for the lack of facilities around him by being creative and using his surroundings to train with determination and focus. He was a staple at the fields of his native village, where you could see the young athlete working hard, trying to master his craft.
Like most Para-athletes, Jaideep belonged to a poor rural background that saw academics being the main focus as they believed it was the only way to a successful career. Sports was usually overlooked unless you played cricket at a high level. Para-athletes like Jaideep had to face adversity in many forms due to their disabilities, circumstances, environment and lack of support from people at home and outside. Jaideep, unfortunately, had his left leg paralysed when he was four months old due to the doctor giving him the wrong vaccine. He suffered from Post Polio Residual Paralysis and did not let that or his circumstances deter him from aiming high working towards achieving those goals.
He ended up finishing 7th in the 2012 London Paralympics with a mere five years of taking up the sport and with hardly a year of professional training. He followed that up by finishing 4th at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow and 7th at the 2015 World Athletics Championship in Doha. Jaideep's moment to shine came at the 18th National Para Athletic Championship in 2018, as he won a resounding gold in the discus event.