The IAAF World Championships 2017 has entered its final stages and has brought good news for Indian athletics fans as Davinder Singh Kang has become the first ever Indian to qualify for the finals of Javelin throw at the event.
In the process, he defied many odds as produced a throw of 84.22m to breach the automatic qualification mark and enter the final. If he wins a medal on August 12, he will become the second Indian after Anju Bobby George to finish on the podium at the Worlds.
Here are 10 things you need to know about this unsung hero of Indian athletics!
#1 Davinder was born on 18 December 1988 in Punjab in Chak Shakur village in Jalandhar. His father is a small farmer and financial issues forced him to borrow money a number of times, including from his compatriot and junior World Record holder Neeraj Chopra.
#2 His rise in the sport is not an overnight success as he has worked really hard in the past few years both in and out of the National Camp. He has lost 25kg in last 18 months in order to achieve optimum fitness.
#3 Davinder does not only serve his nation in the field of sports. He is also an Army Naib Subedar and has trained a number of junior Javelin throwers.
#4 Kang could have shot into limelight much earlier but he was forced to miss the 2010 CommonWealth Games due to a fractured leg.
#5 His participation in the World Championship was in doubt after NADA found traces of marijuana in his Indian Grand Prix urine sample. He claimed to have consumed it in the form of 'thandai' as he had a constant fever and bleeding from the nose.
#6 He did not have good relations with the former National Coach Garry Calvert and thus was not included in the National Camp. He claimed that the Australian once said that Davinder could never improve.
#7 The 28-year-old has been carrying an injury since the Indian Grand Prix in Delhi in May and participated in the qualifications with his right shoulder strapped. The shoulder troubled him in the ongoing World Championships as well but he intends to shed the pain off for his country.
#8 The trouble did not end here for Davinder as he and Neeraj were sent to the World Championships without a coach. He ultimately had to resort to taking help for his technique and shoulder from his Sri Lankan friend Waruna Rankoth Pedige.
#9 His throw of 84.22m was better than that of 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist Thomas Rohler from Germany and silver medallist Julius Yego from Kenya as he finished in fifth place among 16 competitors in his group.
#10 Davinder could well have missed the World Championships and wasn't aware the very last day if he was going. Officials in the AFI were skeptical about sending him and in a meeting, they even discussed dropping him since he was not considered a medal prospect.Published 12 Aug 2017, 13:38 IST