I want to throw my personal best at Tokyo Paralympics: Javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary
The reigning world champion in javelin F64, Sandeep Chaudhary opens up about his goals for the Tokyo Paralympics to The Bridge.
Javelin throw is one sport India has tasted a lot of success in at the Paralympics, with two gold and one silver and bronze medal each in the event. So naturally, there has always been a hype around the Indian para-javelin throwers whenever they are set for the Paralympics.
But, the situation is different this time around. After Neeraj Chopra clinched the gold medal in javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics, a lot more common people are interested in the sport. And with the country sending a total of 8 javelin throwers to Tokyo Paralympics, fans are expecting multiple medals in the event.
While all of these definitely means added pressure on all the eight javelin throwers, the reigning world champion and world record holder in F64, Sandeep Chaudhary, is not worried.
"See, there definitely is a lot of pressure, but then everybody would have that pressure, so it is balanced out. My only focus is to go out and give my best on the day of the competition, and I believe the medal will follow because of all the hours I have spent training," said a very determined Sandeep Chaudhary to The Bridge.
The interaction I had with Sandeep was a very short one, but it was enough to make out how dogged personality the 25-year-old is. No matter how complicated the questions were, he would find a way to answer them in just a sentence or two at max.
All he had in mind during the course of the interaction was doing his best in Tokyo. Nothing else mattered, not even the medal.
"I want to throw my personal best during the Tokyo Paralympics. If I do that, I would be happy," Chaudhary describes his only aim going into the Paralympics.
When reminded of his near-miss five years back during the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, Sandeep straightaway points out that he has improved since then in the field, and so has his mentality.
"During Rio, I did not know how things work. I was competing at the Paralympics for the first time, but it is a thing of the past now and not something which affects me. I have improved a lot in the field, and my thinking has also changed. I do not focus much on results now; all I think of is throwing my best in all my attempts," he describes.
Despite being a world record holder and the reigning world champion, Sandeep Chaudhary refuses to downplay his opponent. The Rajasthan lad feels he will face some stiff competition during his campaign in Tokyo.
"There are a lot of good javelin throwers in my category at the moment. I being the reigning World Champion does not guarantee anything. It will all come down to who throws the best on the day of the competition, and I am sure it will be very close," stated a level-headed Sandeep.
So how does he manage to stay this calm and determined? Well, Sandeep himself does not have the answer.
"I have been like this from childhood. Even after I met with the accident at such an early age and was told that I would have to live my remaining life like this, I was calm. I just knew I had to make something out of myself and the belief that I will succeed was always present," Sandeep said.