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Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra praised Indian para javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia for bagging a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics on Monday (August 30). Jhajharia won silver with a personal best throw of 64.35 in the men’s Standing Javelin (F46) event. This was also his third medal at Paralympic Games.

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar won bronze in the same event with a season-best of 62.58m. Neeraj, who won a gold medal in the men’s javelin event in Tokyo Olympics earlier this month and has become the toast of the nation, congratulated the two para-athletes on their outstanding performances in the Games.

“Devendra bhai sahab: you are such an inspiration to all of us Congratulations on your 3rd #Paralympics medal! Many congratulations to Sundar bhai also for winning a bronze,” Neeraj Chopra tweeted.

The 40-year-old javelin thrower, already India’s greatest Paralympian after winning gold medals in the 2004 and 2016 Games, pulled off a new personal best throw of 64.35m for the silver in F46 classification.

“Of course, this medal belongs to the people of the country but I also want to dedicate this to my late father (Ram Singh Jhajharia) who had wanted me to win another medal in the Paralympics,” Jhajharia told news agency PTI from Tokyo.

F46 classification is for athletes with arm deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in arms. Jhajharia makes this cut owing to the left hand he lost after being electrocuted as an eight-year-old.

Jhajharia came to know about his father’s illness while he was training at Sports Authority of India Centre in Gandhinagar last year. He rushed home but his father sent him back to continue training as he wanted his son to win another medal at the Paralympics. The inspiration of Jhajharia’s life died in October last year.

“I would not be here if it was not for my father’s efforts. It was he who pushed me to train hard and win another medal. I am happy that today I have fulfilled his dream.”

(with PTI inputs)

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