Devendra Jhajharia is the first Indian Paralympics player to have won three Olympics medals. Starting with a gold medal from the F-46 Javelin throw competition in the Athens summer Paralympics in 2004 this thrower also clinched gold medals in the Rio summer Paralympics and in Tokyo Paralympics in 2020. Recently, India’s gold medal winner in Tokyo Olympics, the Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has described Devendra as one of his inspirations.
Background of Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia was born in 1981 and hails from the Charu district in Rajasthan. He touched a live electric cable while climbing a tree. He was only eight years old. He was rushed to the hospital and received medical treatment but finally, the doctors were compelled to amputate his left hand. In 1997 he was spotted by Dronacharya Awardee coach R.D Singh while competing at a school sports day and from that point on, Devendra was coached by Singh. Devendra always hails his first coach as one of the key contributors to his development as the most successful Para-Olympian Javelin thrower in the country.
The Training Abroad
After the silver medal in the Tokyo Paralympics, Devendra Jhajharia changed his training module. He has roped in personal trainer Lakshya Batra from New Delhi. The 41-year-old Javelin thrower has resumed training abroad for at least two to three months every year. Devendra who is employed at the Rajasthan Forest department revealed that he along with his coach had gone to a place named Kurtek in Finland to train for around two months there in the Olympic Training Center. Devendra who is presently training at Gandhi Nagar Sports Authority of India (SAI) said,
“In Kurtek we mainly concentrated on endurance and other physical training. Neeraj Chopra was also with us and trained there. Now it is the off-season. So here at Gandhi Nagar, I am concentrating on physical fitness training.”
After having clinched the silver in Tokyo Paralympics, the country’s foremost organization has come forward with support to Devendra Jhajharia. At the same time, Devendra has already been included in the Union Sports ministry’s Target Olympics Podium (TOP). Devendra said,
“I am getting all kinds of assistance now. That is why I have plans again to go to Kurtek to make my preparation stronger before the World Championship, to be held in Paris next July, and then Asian Games.”
After the Tokyo Paralympics Devendra had taken part in the World Grand Prix in Morocco and he bagged a silver medal by throwing the Javelin 60 meters. He, however, did not sound bothered by his performance.
The Target of Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia aims to continue the winning streak in the Olympics. By winning the fourth medal in the Paris Olympics in 2024 the 41-year-old Javelin thrower wants to create history. Devendra stated,
“I am confident that I will be able to clinch the gold medal in the Olympics if I can throw 65 meters. I threw 64 meters in Tokyo. I will be able to increase the distance in Paris.”-- Advertisement --