After Neeraj Chopra claimed an elite gold in Tokyo Olympics, three other Indians – Sumit Antil, Devendra Jhajharia and Sunder Singh Gurjar won medals in Tokyo Paralympics. The Paralympic medallists were facilitated by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who wished that Javelin becomes as popular as a cricket bat.
Debutant Anil shattered multiple records to claim a podium finish in the F64 class while veteran Jhajharia and Gurjar won silver and bronze medals respectively in the F46 category.
“I hope javelin in India will now become as famous as a cricket bat,” Thakur, a former BCCI president, said during felicitation.
Other athletes who were present on the occasion were Yogesh Kathuniya and Sharad Kumar who had won a Silver medal in Discus Throw F56 and a bronze medal in High Jump T63 respectively. Anurag Thakur promises the athletes all possible support from the central government.
“On National Sports Day, India clinched four medals and there can’t be a better tribute than this to Major Dhyan Chand ji. There is a lot of hard work by the athletes combined with the support given by the government to the National Sports Federations and athletes. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji’s encouragement has been a driving force,” the minister said.
“Government will improve the sports ecosystem in the country and through schemes like TOPS, it will keep supporting the athletes (both core and development) in an unprecedented way,” Thakur said.
Meanwhile, Jhajhariya and Kumar expressed gratitude to the government for their support during their Tokyo Paralympics campaign.
“In the last four years, the government has supported us in a great way. PM Modi ji’s interaction with us also boosted our morale and we felt motivated this time,” Jhajharia said.
Kumar added, “This was a very difficult Paralympics because we did not know whether Games would happen or not. We are very happy that the government adopted us and offered us great support through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
“The government is working tirelessly to support us and all our sports-centric and reasonable requests are being approved quickly.”