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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Chandigarh’s Viney clinches bronze in world para-athletics

Coming from a family of doctors and engineers, Viney always wanted to do something different, and zeroed down on sports

chandigarh Updated: Nov 15, 2019 07:59 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
This is the first world-level medal for Viney Lal
This is the first world-level medal for Viney Lal(HT PHOTO)
         

Defying polio, city’s quartermiler Viney Lal clinched bronze in the ongoing World Para-Athletics Championship in Doha on Thursday. Nour Alsana of Saudi Arabia won gold, while Karim Ramadan of Egypt grabbed silver.

This is the first world-level medal for the Chandigarh runner. Earlier in 2018, he bagged bronze in the 400m event at the Para-Asian Games held in Indonesia.

“I am ecstatic about my podium finish. Looking at my training and the timings that I was clocking in the camp, I was confident of a medal even before leaving for Doha. The medal has given me confidence to do even better in the future,” says 20-year-old Viney.

“In the previous edition of the world championship held in London, I missed the medal by a whisker, and finished fourth. The disappointment made me work harder. I am happy that I achieved my target in Doha.”

Coming from a family of doctors and engineers, Viney always wanted to do something different, and zeroed down on sports.

“While I searching for a coach somewhere in 2015, I met Arvind Chahal, who was then doing his practical training — part of NIS diploma’s syllabus for coaches. Luckily, he agreed to take me under his wings,” recalled Viney.

On whether his polio-affected leg ever come in his way, Viney says, “When I approached Chahal to train me, I had no idea about para sports. I was looking to excel in regular sports. So, I never felt that polio was a hurdle for me.”

“At times, due to training overload and polio, I suffered muscle tears in my foot. But I don’t let these injuries weigh me down,” says the youth, who won bronze in 100m race (abled body) in the Haryana U-16 Athletics Championship in 2015.

“After the bronze, with the consultation of my coach, I started competing in para sports. So far, I have competed in over 10 international meets. My next target is 2020 Tokyo Paralympics,” said Viney, who took a break after passing Class 12 to concentre on sports.

“I enrolled in BA first year, but due to the tournaments, I couldn’t give the exams. I will resume my studies after the 2020 Paralympics,” he said.