On 13th September 2016, Devendra Jhajharia became first Indian to won two gold medals at the Paralympics. He broke his own record in Javelin throw. His first gold medal was in 2004 Athens Games. Devendra Jhajharia is being supported by GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme and is competing in F46 events.
India now has two gold, one silver and one bronze in the ongoing edition of the games.
Born in the year 1981, Devendra Jhajharia hails from the Churu District in Rajasthan. At the age of eight, while climbing a tree he touched a live electric cable. He received medical attention but the doctors were forced 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 was coached by Singh. He gave credit to his personal coach R.D. Singh for 2004 Paralympic Gold Medal.
Devendra competed in the event alongside fellow Indians Rinku Hooda and Sundar Singh Gurjar. Rinku finished fifth with a personal best of 54.39 metres in six attempts, while Sundar Singh Gurjar didn’t start the event.
Devendra took India’s tally at this edition of the Paralympics to four medals — two golds, one silver and a bronze.
He was 23 when he won the gold at the 2004 Athens Games. His performance has been quite consistent in the decade after his big win. He won a silver at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
When asked whether para-athletes get recognition as much as other sportsperson in India, he says, “For sure we don’t get our due. But para-sport is on the rise and slowly we are getting more recognition.”