Praveen Kumar stormed to the silver medal in the men’s high jump T64 with a personal best and Asian record on Friday, taking India’s haul to 11 at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.
The Indian teen finished on the podium ahead of the Rio 2016 champion and behind only the reigning world champion. This was Kumar’s first major medal since taking up the sport in 2019. The teenager is a Noida resident and is now the youngest medal winner in the Indian contingent.
The 18-year-old, competing in his debut Paralympics, has a personal best of 2.05m before. But with a 2.07m jump on his second attempt, he put himself in the gold medal position. However, eventual champion as Jonathan Broom-Edwards of Great Britain cleared it on his third attempt and then notched up his season’s best of 2.10m for the gold.
The bronze went to Rio Games champion Maciej Lepiato of Poland who produced an effort of 2.04m.
T64 classification is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.
T44, the disability classification that Kumar has but is eligible to compete in T64, is for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs.
His impairment, which is congenital, affects the bones that connect his hip to his left leg.
The ongoing Games are turning out to be India’s best ever and the nation has so far claimed two gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
With PTI Inputs