India’s greatest Paralympian Devendra Jhajharia, who had won gold in 2004 Athens and 2016 Rio Games and now a silver at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in javelin, said he will look to hit a “boundary (four)” of medals at 2024 Paris.
Jhajharia’s latest medal came with an attempt of 64.35m in the men’s javelin throw (F46 final event).
Talking to IANS from Tokyo, Jhajharia said, “As I am 40-year-old now, I believe I have challenged science. Winning silver is also important. My father always wanted me to make a hat-trick of medals and now I did it. I am sure he would be so proud of me. I dedicate this medal to my late father. Whatever I am today is because of his motivation and support. He was struggling with cancer and when I went to meet him, he said ‘you should not avoid training’. I can’t tell you how emotional I am feeling right now.
“Three medals done, there is also a possibility that I make it four in Paris (2024 Paralympics). You never know,” laughed the 40-year-old supremely-fit athlete.
“But firstly, I want to go home and relax a bit. I am dying to meet my daughter. Then, later I will talk to my coaches and discuss whether I can play in Paris or not. But till now there is a possibility that I can play and win gold there.”
Jhajharia had been training at the Sports Authority of India’s Gandhinagar centre in Gujarat. Before leaving for Tokyo, he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a video call. After winning silver at Tokyo, he again got an opportunity to speak to Modi.
“I feel honoured that the Prime Minister called me to congratulate me and appreciated my efforts. I dedicate the medal as well as my fruitful journey to my country and countrymen,” he said.
“Today, when I see governments motivating athletes, I feel my father would be very happy wherever he is now,” Jhajharia said.
His left arm had to be amputated when he was eight years old after he accidentally touched a live electric cable.