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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Missed medal in Rio by 52 seconds, Sundar Gurjar fulfils his Paralympic medal dream in Tokyo

After his dream shattered in seconds, the 25-year old para-athlete made sure not to err this time around.

Missed medal in Rio by 52 seconds, Sundar Gurjar fulfils his Paralympic medal dream in Tokyo

Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 30 Aug 2021 12:16 PM GMT

With India racking up medals in quick succession, another one is added to the kitty as Sundar Gurjar wins the bronze medal in the Men's Javelin Throw F46, just behind his compatriot Devendra Jhajharia who clinched the silver in the same event. This is not only a proud moment for the country but also for the athlete as he had the determination to not repeat what had happened five years ago in Rio.

52 seconds may not seem much, barely a minute, but these seconds cost Gurjar's dreams at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. The javelin thrower was just 52 seconds late to reach the call and that was enough to get him disqualified. Years of hard work were turned futile in a matter of mere seconds. This had broken Gurjar mentally and he was on the verge of quitting the sport. But his coach had other plans. With counselling sessions, the para-athlete was on his road to recovery, and before he knew it, he was back to his sparkling best.

In 2017, he went on to win the gold at the London World Para Athletic Championship. He repeated his gold-winning performance in the 2019 World Championship held in Dubai, thereby giving him some great momentum ahead of the Tokyo games. Despite these promising displays, whatever happened at Rio was still irking him. Prior to the Tokyo Paralympics, he said, "Whatever happened in Rio is still haunting me."

His win shows that you are never too far from achieving your dreams. With his bronze, he fulfilled his dream of a Paralympic medal, and in doing so, laid rest to the nerves that were in his mind since 2016.

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