After Rio nightmare, Sundar Gurjar eyes gold at World Championships
The Rio Paralympics blunder still haunts Sundar Gurjar, but he is hoping that a podium finish at the World Championships will make up for the lossUpdated: Jul 12, 2017 16:36 IST
Last year, five months before the Rio Paralympics, everyone was sure of one medal and that was of Sundar Gurjar in javelin throw. Then 20-year-old Gurjar had surpassed the world record in F-46 category (single arm amputee) by a distance of six metres touching 68.4m at the national championship held in Panchkula.
But on the day of his event at Rio, he failed to report in time for the event. While the announcements were made for the competitors, Gurjar was busy getting his photograph clicked for a foreign publication and by the time he reached the attendance counter, the reporting time was over. Late by two minutes, Gurjar was not allowed to compete.
The Rio blunder still haunts him, but he is hoping that a podium finish in the World Championship will make up for the loss. “What happened to me in Rio was unimaginable. Even in the wildest of my dreams, I never thought something like that could happen to a player. Now only a medal in Tokyo Games in 2020 can make up for the Rio loss. But a podium finish at the Worlds can give me some strength,” says Gurjar. “I am touching 62-63m in training and if I can repeat it in London, I will be in the medal bracket.”
Rio, a bad dream
Devendra Jhajharia with a throw of 63.97m won gold in F46 category in Rio. And had Gurjar reported in time, India could have won another medal.
Gurjar ued to compete in able-bodied category till 2015 when he lost his left hand in an accident at a construction site. He also has a junior national gold to his credit in the general category.
From one discipline to three
Post-Rio, Gurjar has started training in shotput and discus as well. And at an international Grand Prix held in Dubai in March, he won gold in all the three events.
“My target is to win at least two medals in 2020 Tokyo. I know it will be difficult for me to continue with three throw events but I will try to do so or at least keep two events till Tokyo Games,” says Gurjar.
First Published: Jul 12, 2017 11:09 IST