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Friday, September 17, 2021

Tokyo Paralympics: Vinod Kumar wins discus bronze, result under review

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Paralympic athlete Vinod Kumar’s bronze medal in the men’s F52 discus throw is currently under review, with the Paralympic Games organisers stating it is “due to classification observation in competition.”

The Victory Ceremony for the event has been postponed to the evening session on 30th August.

In the discus throw finals on 29th August, Poland’s Piotr Kosewicz won the gold with a throw of 20.02m while Croatia’s Velimir Sandor took the silver with a throw of 19.98m. Kumar, attending his first Paralympic games, came in third with his discus throw of 19.91m. His throw also set a new Asian record.

However, the result has been challenged, with some competitors objecting to his classification in the F52 category for athletes with impaired muscle power, limb deficiency, leg length difference or restricted range of movement.

Kumar’s classification for the event had been conducted on 22 August, in the presence of Team India’s Deputy Chef de Mission Arhan Bagati.

“It was only four days back that his classification was done and I was there. Three Tokyo Paralympics classifiers had classified Vinod Kumar as F52 and we are confident that the medal will stay after review even though there has been a protest,” Bagati stated.

vinod kumar discus
Source: Twitter

It is unclear on what grounds the classification has been challenged.

Vinod Kumar comes from a family of army men. He joined the Border Security Force in 2002 but had to leave seven months later after he fell off a cliff in Leh leading to severe injuries to his legs. He was bed-ridden for close to 10 years.

He opened a shop near the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Rohtak and got interested in para-athletics watching Rio Paralympic Games coverage on television. The 41-year-old burst onto the parasport scene in the 2018 and 2019 Nationals when he won bronze medals in the F53 discus throw.

He was classified in the F52 category during his first international event at Handisport Open Para Athletics Grand Prix in Paris in 2019. Vinod stood fourth in the World Championships in Dubai which secured him a berth in Tokyo.

Compiled from various media reports

READ ALSO: India at the Tokyo Paralympics: what to expect


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