Devendra Jhajharia, on Tuesday, broke his own world record with a 63.7m throw in the men’s F46 Javelin Throw and became India’s second gold medal winner at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Born into a low-income family in the Churu district of Rajasthan, Devendra Jhajharia first participated in the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games when he was 24 years old. Then too, he was successful in creating a world record with a throw of 62.15m, becoming India’s first gold medallist.
Here are 8 things you didn’t know about India’s decorated Paralympic gold medallist
- Devendra Jhajharia lost his left hand, at the age of eight, when he accidentally touched an electrical wire while climbing a tree.
- In 1995, after he began participating in para-athletics in his school, coach Ripudaman Singh saw great potential in him and encouraged him to take the field seriously.
- His international debut was at the Asian Games in Busan, in 2002.
- He is the recipient of the Arjuna Award, which was conferred upon to him in the year 2005.
- He was also felicitated with the Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award by the Rajasthan government in 2005.
- He received the Padma Shri, which is the fourth-highest civilian award, by former President Pratibha Patil in the year 2012.
- In 2014, he was named the para-sportsperson of the year by the FICCI.
- He is a member of the Paralympics committee in Rajasthan and is currently employed with the railways.
- He resides in Jaipur with his wife and daughter.