Vinod Kumar loses men's F52 discus throw bronze at Paralympics
Vinod Kumar loses men's F52 discus throw bronze at Paralympics after being found "ineligible" in disability classification assessment
Indian discus thrower Vinod Kumar on Monday lost his F52 category bronze medal at the Paralympics here after being found ineligible in disability classification assessment by the competition panel. The 41-year-old BSF man, whose Army man father was injured during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, produced a best throw of 19.91m to finish third behind Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) of Poland and Velimir Sandor (19.98m) of Croatia on Sunday.
However, the result was challenged by some competitors. "...the panel was unable to allocate the athlete Vinod Kumar from NPC India with a sport class and the athlete was designated as Classification not Completed (CNC)," the organisers said in a statement. "The athlete is therefore ineligible for the Men's F52 Discus medal event and his results in that competition are void," it added.
The Games debutant had injured both his legs after falling off a cliff while training after joining the BSF. It is a heartbreaking turn of events for the man from Haryana who was bed-ridden for close to a decade till 2012 and lost both his parents in that period.
F52 is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, with athletes competing in seated position with cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, and functional disorder. Para-athletes are classified depending on the type and extent of their disability.
The classification system allows athletes to compete those with a similar level of ability. Vinod's classification was done on August 22. Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik told PTI that there is nothing that the PCI can do now. "Classifications done previously can be challenged during competitions and can be overruled also. There is nothing that India can do now.