Devendra Jhajharia recently bettered his own javelin throw world record in the F46 classification. The accomplished para-athlete hurled his javelin a fantastic 65.71m at the national trials in Delhi on June 30. The 40-year-old surpassed his previous world record throw of 63.97m, which he set at the Rio Paralympics.
Jhajharia was extremely emotional after the throw. The 40-year-old had lost his father to cancer in October 2020. After a world record-breaking throw, Jhajharia had an emotional embrace with Deepa Malik, who currently serves as the president of the Paralympic Committee of India.
Watch the video below:
Devendra Jhajharia secures place for Tokyo Paralympics
The brilliant 65.71m throw in Delhi was sufficient for Devendra Jhajharia to secure a berth for the Tokyo Paralympics. While the star javelin thrower broke his previous record, the throw would not count as a World Record as it was during a trial event.
Devendra tweeted the happy news to his fans in Hindi (translated here):
"At the qualifying tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium today, I broke my previous 63.57m world record and threw a new record of 65.71m. In the process, I have qualified for Tokyo Paralympics. I have only been able to do this thanks to the constant support of my family and efforts of my coach Sunil Tanwar, and fitness trainer Lakshay Banna."
The two-time Paralympic Games gold medallist really wished his father was still there to mark the occasion. An emotional Devendra told The Indian Express:
"I know I have thrown better than my previous world record and earned a spot for Tokyo, but I still feel so empty and lost. Who will I tell about my latest accomplishment? I used to give my dad all the updates. He would get so excited and call his friends in the village and tell them. He would say, ‘Why wait for others to call and congratulate? Let me call them first instead’"
The F46 Javelin thrower was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2017. Jhajharia also conferred the Padma Shri award in 2012 and became the first Paralympian to be so honored.
Rio 2016 Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik praised Devendra Jhajharia after he qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. In a tweet from her official Twitter account, Malik said:
"Aging like fine wine, the golden arm was back in action today. Emotions at a high & rightly so after he has yet again beaten the high benchmarks he keeps setting. Hats off on yet another throw that would’ve broken your own world record at an international event @DevJhajharia!"
Jhajharia is also known for holding the IPC World Championships in F46 Javelin during the 2013 Lyon edition of the event. He also bagged a Silver World Championships medal during the 2015 Doha edition.
The former Indian Railways employee will now be looking to add another feather to his cap and is eyeing nothing less than a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.