Sachin Tendulkar inspired me a lot, says Rio Paralympics hero Devendra Jhajharia

first_imgDevendra Jhajharia made India proud when he bettered his own world record to win Gold in the men’s javelin throw F46 event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics last month.Devendra won gold in the javelin event at the 2004 Athens Paralympics with a record throw of 62.15 metres, however, he improved upon it with an attempt of 63.97 metres at the Olympic Stadium in Rio in September.India finished with four medals at the Paralympics this year, with Mariyappan Thangavelu (Gold in high jump), Varun Bhati (Bronze in high jump), Deepa Malik (Silver in shot put) and Devendra Jhajharia (Gold in javelin throw).In an exclusive chat with Boria Majumdar, India Today’s Consulting Editor Sports, the four stars spoke at length about their journey before and after Rio success.The whole country celebrated its para-athletes’ success with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar calling them “extraordinarily abled” champions.”As an Indian I am extremely proud of all four of you and the other athletes who participated. The whole world calls them differently abled but according to me these champions are extraordinarily abled,” Tendulkar said at a felicitation ceremony.”Sachin Tendulkar is my role model and has always inspired me. I used to think if Sachin can play international cricket for 24 long years then why can’t me? So, people like him have been an inspiration to all of us,” Jhajharia told India Today.”I met him (Sachin) for the first time today (during a felicitation ceremony) and it was a very special moment. He is a very humble and simple person. He even appreciated me for my achievements,” said an ecstatic Jhajharia.advertisement’MEDAL HAS MADE ME MORE RESPONSIBLE’Deepa Malik, who became the first-ever Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games, said life has changed tremendously after the Games. Malik bagged a silver in the Women’s Shot Put F53 event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games, clinching the medal with a personal best throw of 4.61 meters.”Life has changed tremendously and definitely for the better. It’s little exhausting right now because lot of felicitation is happening and lot of travelling is involved but a huge thank you to the nation for the support,” Malik said.”I see a tremendous transformation in the entire nation and the outlook towards para-sports. Medals have got equal respect, there has been no disparity and a lot of responsibility has come. My medal being the first medal by an Indian woman, so automatically a lot of responsibility of encouraging more and more women to come forward and join the journey.”THANGAVELU, BHATI CREDIT COACH FOR SUCCESS”We (Thangavelu and I) are good friends but I want to beat him as well. Our coach (Satyanarayan) has strengthened our bond and has played a major role in helping us win medals at the Games,” Bhati said.”When I returned home, my mother was very happy. It was an emotional moment. Coach Satyanarayan helped me a lot, I trained with him for Paralympics. I would like to thank him,” Thangavelu said.last_img

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