India’s Paralympic javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia on Wednesday won his second gold medal at the Rio Paralympics F46 event. India’s flagbearer at the Rio Paralympics, Jhajharia is the second Indian to win a medal this year at the mega tournament. He had earlier clinched his first gold medal at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. His gold medal at the Rio Paralympics 2016 is only India’s fourth gold in Paralympics history. India’s first goal at the Paralympics came when swimmer Murlikant Patkar won one in 1972.
The 36-year athlete with an amputated hand broke his own record of 62.15 metres, that he created in 2004 by a throw of 63.97 metres in 2016. Jhajharia is also a recipient of the Arjuna award in 2005 and the Padma Shri in 2012. He is the first Paralympian to receive the Padma Shri. He was awarded the Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award in 2005. In 2014, he was named as the para-sportsperson of the year by FICCI. He is the 2nd Indian to win gold at the Rio Olympics after Mariyappan Thangavelu in the men’s high jump-T42 finals.
Jhajharia was congratulated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social networking site twitter.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 14, 2016
Jharjharia is a resident of Rajasthan where he lives with his wife and daughter and is an employee of the Indian Railways. He is also a member of the Paralympics committee of Rajasthan. Jhajharia had lost his left hand at the age of 8 to electrocution. However, he stayed determined and trained hard to participate in para-athletics in 1995. In 1997, his coach Coach Ripudaman Singh saw his potential and encouraged him to take up the sport seriously.