Para-archer Vivek Chikara eyes Asian Para Games after gold in National C’ships

Vivek Chikara had not been able to make it to this year’s Asian Para Championships because of a shoulder injury. But when he returned to fitness, he outscored Harvinder by nine points in the National Championships.

Vivek Chikara took part in the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo last year.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Indian para-archer Vivek Chikara dethroned Paralympic medallist Harvinder Singh, when he bagged two Gold Medals in the Senior Para-Archery in Haryana last week.

The 32-year-old had not been able to make it to this year’s Asian Para Championships because of a shoulder injury. But when he returned to fitness, he outscored Harvinder by nine points in the tournament.

“I am very happy with my performance in both the categories. This will give me a good boost for my upcoming tournaments,” he said.

Impediments for the Meerut-born archer are not new.

Vivek was working for a multinational conglomerate when an accident in 2017 changed his life overnight. He was returning from work when a truck hit him from the back, and the doctors suggested amputation of his left leg.

“I was on the bed for four months after the accident and then I went to Ottobock in New Delhi and started using the artificial limb,” he said.

“Getting used to that and rectifying my gait took at least four months. So, after nine-months, I had recovered physically, but mentally it took some more time.”

Vivek Chikara with his gold medals at the Senior Para-Archery championships. Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

During his recovery, Vivek took to para-archery after coming to know about it from the newspapers and joined Gurukul Prabhat Ashram in Meerut, which was under SAI (Sports Authority of India).

His progress in para-archery has burgeoned since.

Vivek won the Gold Medal in the Asian Para Championships in 2019, booked a spot for India at the Paralympics by shining at the World Championships in Netherlands and finished 10th in individual recurve in the same (Paralympics) last year.

Talking to Sportstar, he said that his coach, Satyadev Prasad has had a tremendous contribution in helping him make it big in the sport. Prasad himself had represented India at the 2004 Summer Olympics, finishing 10th individually and was a member of the Indian team as well.

“The biggest contribution has been of my coach Satyadev Prasad,” he said, “As long as he stayed with me, he has been instrumental in uplifting my morale and mental health.”  

Recovering from injuries and with the National Championship done and dusted, Vivek has his eyes set for the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou.

“There always comes a time in our lives when we feel nothing is happening with our lives -- be it in education, sports or para-sports, and we get demotivated and take a step back.”

“That is something we shouldn't do and we should keep sticking to the path we are on. So, my message for individuals who are feeling demotivated would be to not give up and keep trying,” he said.

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