Paralympian Devendra Jhajharia, who broke his javelin throw record of 62.15 metres with an all-time high of 63.97 metres to bag gold at Rio 2016 Paralympics, was greeted by family and members of Nymph Academy at Jaipur International Airport on Saturday.
Jhajaria won gold on September 14 in the F-46 event (men’s javelin throw) at Rio Paralympics. Government officials were conspicuous by their absence at the airport.
A native of Churu district, Rajasthan, Jhajharia had lost his left arm when he was eight years old. “I felt I had lost everything. But my mother and father supported me at every stage,” said Jhajharia while addressing students at a programme in Nymph Academy School.
“Most parents want to see their children become doctors and engineers, but my mother wanted me to become a sportsperson. I picked up very gradually and it would not have been possible without her support.”
On his path to success, his wife Manju sacrificed her promising career in Kabaddi to allow Devendra freedom to pursue his ambition. The paralympian also benefitted immensely from his rare training stint at Kuortane, Finland.
Jhajharia gained fame by bagging a gold medal in FEPSIC games in South Korea. In 2004, he won gold at the summer paralaympic games in Athens and set a world record with a distance of 62.15 metres. His current feat has made him the only Indian paralympian to win two gold medals.
“Nothing in the world is difficult if you make an effort. I used a bamboo javelin to practice when I was young. If a village boy like me who had little facilities to his avail could make a world record, what’s stopping you?” he told students.
The 35-year-old sportsperson thanked his family, coach Sunil Tanwar and well wishers for his success. “The greatest moment in my life was seeing the Indian flag going up when my name was announced after winning the gold,” said Jhajharia. He also paid tribute to the 17 army personnel martyred in the terror strike at the army base in Uri, Srinagar.