After Asia, Sandeep sets sights on Worlds
New Delhi: “Jivan ka sabse bada achievement hai ye mera (This is the biggest achievement of my life so far). No javelin thrower from India has won the gold at the Asian Para Games and that too with a world record,” said Sandeep Chaudhary, who set the new world record in his third attempt with a throw of 60.01m in F 42-44/61-64 classification.
Chaudhary’s feat got the country its first gold at this year’s Asian Para Games in Jakarta and opened the floodgates for India’s best-ever show of 72 medals.
Chaudhary took up para sports after the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games. An old injury damaged his hip joints and it needed a surgery. But it was too late. “Nothing showed up in the X-ray tests so I thought it was a minor issue. But when the problem persisted, I underwent a sonography test and I was advised surgery. But during the surgery it was found that nothing could be done to save the leg. As a result my left leg has sort of shrunk,” the 22-year-old from Gurugram said of his disability.
“I was not interested in para sports. Honestly, I did not even know about para sports. I used to participate in the competitions for the able-bodied. I was the goalkeeper of my college football team. But my friend insisted that I take up para sports and introduced me to coach Naval Singh. And here I am,” he said. Now that he has tasted success at the Asian Para Games level, Chaudhary is serious about the World Championships (November 7-15) in Dubai next year. “I will take some time off. I need to spend some time with my family too. I will start training again later this month. The next big competition for me is the Worlds and hopefully I will return with a medal again,” he said.