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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Taking up discus throw in 2017, Yogesh Kathuniya wins Paralympic medal within just 4 years

Yogesh threw a season's best 44.38 metres in his sixth and final attempt which was enough to win the silver.

Yogesh Kathuniya

Yogesh Kathuniya (Source: Reuters)


Kaustub Bharadwaj

Updated: 30 Aug 2021 12:28 PM GMT

Yogesh Kathuniya won a silver medal for India in the men's F52 discus throw at the Tokyo Paralympics. Yogesh threw a season's best 44.38 metres in his sixth and final attempt which was enough to win the silver. He was the first thrower of the eight competitors in the field. He was in the lead for a long time until the second last contestant threw. Brazil's Claudiney dos Santos threw 45.59 metres to overtake Yogesh and win the gold medal.

Yogesh Kathuniya only took up para sports in 2017. He was a B.com student at the Kirori Mal College in Delhi. Yogesh said" Sachin Yadav was general secretary of the students' union at Kirori Mal College in New Delhi where I was pursuing B.Com. He encouraged me to take up a sport and motivated me by showing videos of para athletes. Somehow I got a liking for discus throw and decided to give it a try." This was in an interview to The New Indian Express.

His first event was the Asian para games in 2018 where he finished fourth. He made an immediate impact in his first international event at the para athletics grand prix in Berlin. He broke the world record in the men's discus throw and men's javelin throw F36 category while winning the gold medal. Yogesh threw the discus 45.18 metres which was more than 2 metres over the last world record of 42.96m set by China's Cuiqing Li in 2017. In the next year, Yogesh won a bronze medal at the world para athletics championships in the discus throw F56 category. That medal also got him qualification to the Tokyo Paralympics and led to him winning a Paralympic medal.

Yogesh Kathuniya is the son of an army man Gyanchand Kathuniya. He studied at the Army public school in Chandigarh. He was a nine year old student when he suffered from a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome causing quadriparesis which is a condition that causes weakness in all four limbs. He has had to fight through a lot to become an athlete and he has made his country proud by winning a medal at the biggest stage in Tokyo.

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