India’s Devendra Jhajharia clinched his second Paralympics gold medal at Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, bettering his Athens Olympics world record throw of 62.15 metres with a 63.97m effort, which is the new world record.
Javelin thrower Jhajharia’s second Paralympics gold medal in the F-46 event may owe a great deal of debt to a short training stint the 35-year-old had at Finland earlier this year. India’s Paralympians rarely go abroad for training or exposure trips, unlike Olympians.
For Jhajharia too, the stint at the renowned Olympic Training Center in the Finnish city in Kuortane was his maiden foreign training stint. It seems to have worked wonders.
In October 2015, he had a best throw of 59.06m at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha — an effort which got him silver.
In March this year, Jhajharia threw 55.35m at the IPC 2016 Athletics Asia-Oceania Championships, held in Dubai. While that effort was good enough to get him gold, both distances pale in comparison to his effort at Rio.
“The world’s best javelin throwers come there (Olympic Training Center in Kuortane) to train. The equipment at the facility is second to none. There are machines there which tell you exactly what angle you are releasing your javelin and what angle you should be ideally be releasing it in.
They also show you which part of your hand the power in your throw comes from and how you can maximise your throw. I will work on improving my technique there,” Jhajharia, who is also one of the rare Indian Paralympians to get funds from the government under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme, had told HT in April.
While in Finland during his two-month stint, Jhajharia had told HT that he was concentrating on fitness and technique at the facility, which seems to have earned him gold at Rio.