India’s only para-athlete to win two Paralympics gold medals, Devendra Jhajharia is overwhelmed to have found a ‘fan’ in country’s Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, which he feels would motivate him to go for his second yellow metal at the upcoming World Championships.
Jhajharia won his maiden Paralympic gold in Athens 2004, four years before Bindra became the only Indian individual Olympic gold medallist at Beijing. The javelin thrower repeated his feat after 12 years at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
“He (Bindra) is a sports icon of the country and but he came forward and spoke highly about my achievements. He told me that ‘it’s difficult to maintain such a high standard over a period of time, I’ve quit. But you have won two gold medals at the highest level. I’m really looking forward to you doing well in future
“This is so overwhelming and coming from the only individual Olympic gold medallist is really inspirational,” said Jhajharia at the sidelines of the opening of ‘Fanattic Sports Museum — The Boria Majumdar Collection’ here.
Bindra was also present on the occasion. Eyeing a gold at the World Championships, London from July 14-23, Jhajharia said: “I’m a world record holder and everyone will expect me to do well. It definitely adds to the pressure but I’m focused on doing my best there.
“The world would be looking at my performance in the World Championship. I cannot let myself down. The preparation has begun and the target is nothing less than a gold. It’s time to prove again.”
A gold medallist in the 2013 World Championships, Jhajharia failed to repeat his feat and had to settle for a silver medal at Doha 2015.
But he is now motivated after the success at Rio, where he achieved world record throw of 63.7 metres. The feat came in his third attempt as he bettered his own mark of 62.15m, which he had created en route to his maiden gold medal at the Athens Paralympics 2004.
Till then Murlikant Petkar was the only Indian with an individual gold in Paralympics.
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