Devendra Jhajharia has participated in Paralympics twice. And both the times he has won the gold medal. Jhajharia is the first Paralympian from India who has won the yellow medal. Devendra Jhajharia has gained experience as well as age. When he went to the Athens Olympics in 2004, he was 23 years old and now he is 40 years old.
Even at this age, Jhajharia is consistently performing well. He is a strong contender for a medal for India in the javelin throw event in Tokyo.
He admitted in conversation with our partner newspaper The Times of India that neither Athens was easy, nor would Rio and Tokyo be easy either. “But in the last few years there has been a change in my thinking. This change comes with experience and success. There is no doubt that I have calmed down a lot and my training is also going well.
Jhajharia gives a lot of credit to his coach for his training. “My coach Sunil, strength and conditioning coach Lakshya Batra and physiotherapist Biren Shah worked hard to ensure that I qualify for Tokyo and remain a medal contender,” he says.
Another newspaper reported that he wanted to win a gold medal in Tokyo for his father who was battling cancer.
Devendra Jhajharia is a big name in Indian athletics. He is the current champion of this event. He won the gold medal in Rio in 2016. Earlier in 2004, he also won the gold medal in Athens. In the intervening 12 years, the F-46 Javelin was not a part of the Paralympics. Considered India’s best Paralympian, Jhajharia threw a record 63.97m in Rio. After this, he qualified for Tokyo in July 2021 by throwing 65.71 meters javelin. At the same time, in Athens, he made a world record by throwing 62.15 meters javelin.
40-year-old Jhajharia was given the Padma Shri in 2021. He is the first para athlete to receive this honour. Earlier he has been honored with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2017 and Arjuna Award in 2005.
Maybe this will be his last Paralympics. Jhajharia will try his best to make it memorable. He is considered a strong contender to win the medal for India.