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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Missed London 2012 Games, finished 6th in Rio, Sharad Kumar wins bronze medal in Tokyo Paralympics

After a long wait, the para-athlete wins his first Paralympics medal.

sharad kumar

Paralympics bronze medallist Sharad Kumar


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 31 Aug 2021 2:50 PM GMT

The para-athlete has had to yearn for that elusive medal for a long time but now, Sharad Kumar has added a Paralympics bronze to his array of medals. He was successful in clearing the 1.83m mark in the Men's High Jump T63 that was good enough for third place. With his win, Kumar added another medal to India's medal haul at the Tokyo Paralympics, which currently stands at nine.

The road to his first Paralympics medal has been a bumpy one. His dream had begun at the 2012 London games but the high-jumper was disqualified for doping as he had tested positive for a banned drug. From there, it was a path of determination and grit. Slowly, he started to win medals in almost every tournament he was a part of. In 2014, he clinched the gold medal at the Asian Para Games. He repeated this feat at the 2018 Asian Para games as well. This was not all for him as the Bihar-born athlete went on to become a two-time silver medallist at the World Para Athletics Championship.

In the 2016 Rio games, he once again tried to fulfil his dream but a sixth-place finish was all he could salvage. After his disappointing performance in Brazil, he shifted to Ukraine to further his training. While a different environment was certainly difficult to get accustomed to, the daily training was what kept his peace of mind. Even though the lockdown restrictions of the pandemic were heavy on his mental state, his focus did not shift as his mind was in Tokyo.

With paralysis in the left leg caused due to polio at a young age, the 29-year old has finally broken all barriers and jumped his way to his medal at a Paralympics. The let-down of 2012 and the disappointment of 2016 has now been trumped by the success of 2021.

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