Indian Vinod Kumar won bronze in the men’s F-51/52 discus throw at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, setting an Asian record of 19.91m on Sunday. However, its result was contested by other competitors, who objected to Vinod’s classification in the F52 category. The reasons for the protest are unclear as the process ended on August 22. statement by the organizers of the Games.
Vinod was slow to start, throwing 17.46m, 18.32m and 17.80m on his first three throws before crossing the 19m mark with 19.12m and two big throws at 19.91 m and 19.81 m. At the Paralympic Games, pitchers complete their six attempts at once, before the next athlete advances.
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Piotr Kosewicz of Poland won gold with 20.02m while Croatian Velimir Sandor won silver with a throw of 19.98m. The intense competition saw the great Aigars Apinis, current Paralympic record holder, finish fourth.
Vinod Kumar’s members had been paralyzed in an accident – the fall from a cliff in Leh that left him bedridden for nearly a decade – seven months after joining the Security Forces borders. After the incident, he had to use a wheelchair and ran a grocery store in his hometown of Rohtak in Haryana. The store had been frequented by an archery coach from the nearby stadium who suggested he try parasport.
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Vinod then launched the discus throw and won his first international medal, a bronze, at the 2019 World Para-athletics Grand Prix. Vinod won his Paralympic quota two months later at the World Championships in Dubai. It’s a tournament he almost missed. He had problems with his travel documents and eventually made it to Dubai a few hours before his competition. He still finished fourth with an effort of 19.29m and that was enough for a place in Tokyo.
The F52 classification is intended for athletes with reduced muscle power, restricted range of motion, limb impairment or difference in leg length, athletes competing in a seated position.
This also applies to cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and functional disorders.
Bhavinaben Patel and Nishad Kumar both won silver medals each in the women’s class 4 table tennis and men’s high jump T47 events respectively on Sunday.