Praveen Kumar wins silver medal in men's high jump T64 at Tokyo Paralympics

Praveen Kumar's high jump silver means India's medal tally now stands at 11 at these Paralympics. It has now won two golds, six silvers and three bronzes.

Praveen Kumar won silver in the men's high jump T64 event on Friday with a new Asian record jump of 2.07m.   -  Getty Images

Praveen Kumar won silver in the men's high jump T64 event on Friday with a new Asian record jump of 2.07m.

Britain's Jonathan Broom-Edwards won gold with 2.10m and Poland's Maciej Lepiato won bronze with 2.04m.

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India's medal tally now stands at 11 at these Paralympics. It has now won two golds, six silvers and three bronzes. This is India's best tally at a single edition of the Para Games. It had won four medals at Rio 2016 and four at the 1984 Paralympics.

Praveen first cleared the 1.83m mark and then opted for 1.88m, which he also cleared in his very first attempt. He then cleared the 1.93m and 1.97m marks.

Praveen failed to clear 2.01m in his first attempt but made it on the second try. He then went on to pass 2.04m in his first leap. The next clearance came at 2.07m off his first jump. The bar was then raised to 2.10m, which Praveen failed to clear in all 3 attempts. However, Broom-Edwards cleared the mark in his third try to seal the top honour.

“Before my second attempt (2.10m), there was a bit of pressure but before my third and final attempt, I didn’t take any pressure. I just told myself that I have to clear this,” Praveen said.

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“When the bar was raised to 1.97m, my confidence was low, I wasn’t sure of what would happen. But once I cleared 2.01m, my confidence was up. I knew I was in the top three,” he added. “I never believed I would be here,” Kumar said. “I started high jump from school after playing volleyball. Then I came to know about para-athletes and the Paralympics and then searched on Google about how to make it to this stage,” he added.  “My school life was spent playing sports. When I started participating in High Jump, teachers and fellow students would doubt my ability. But as I progressed, their support increased. Then when I won the silver in the Junior World Championship, they supported me completely.”

Earlier this year, Praveen won gold at the World Para Athletics GP with a leap of 2.05m, a new Asian record. The 18-year-old missed bronze at the 2019 Junior World Para Athletics Championships. However, his fourth-place finish was enough for him to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics.

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