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India can be in top-3 in athletics at Paris Paralympics, says Jhajharia

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Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) Devendra Jhajharia is India’s most successful individual sportsperson in the Olympics and Paralympics, winning three medals — two gold and one silver.

And the javelin throw veteran has now started working towards winning another medal in the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris and getting his world record back.

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Jhajharia won gold medals in the javelin throw F46 competition in the 2004 Paralympic Games and again in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was the favourite to win the gold in Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games last year but was upstaged by Dinesh Priyantha Herath Mudiyanselage of Sri Lanka, who hurled the spear to 67.79 metres, a world record. Jhajharia came up with his personal best of 64.35 to take silver.

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Now Jhajharia has taken it as his mission to get the gold back and has already started planning for success in Paris 2024. He is going ahead with his plans despite being aware that he will be 43 at the time of the Paris Paralympic Games.

“Bagging a hat-trick of medals in Paris is my new aim. I also want to get my world record back,” Jhajharia said during a media interaction with Olympians and Paralympians who are a part of the International Institute of Sports Management’s initiative to recite the national anthem in a video, which was released on Monday.

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Jhajharia, who has seen India’s performance grow from 1-2 medals to 19 at the Tokyo Paralympics, feels India can finish in the top three especially in athletics at the Paris Paralympics.

“China and Iran are ahead of us in athletics and at number three there are several countries like Japan and Korea.

“But I feel, with the government providing facilities and the way the kids are training, our target will be to finish in the top 3. We definitely can do well in athletics,” the 40-year-old said.

Jhajharia said all stakeholders will have to do their best if this has to happen.

–IANS

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