Last Tuesday was a significant day for many Indian parathletes. After months of the disappointment of not being able to compete under the Indian tricolour, the International Paralympic Committee(IPC) finally lifted the ban on the Paralympic Council of India(PCI), thereby paving the way for them to compete under the national flag until the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
Reacting to this happy bit of news, Devendra Jhajharia, who has booked his spot for the Paralympics, said that the suspension was very disheartening for the athletes and thanked both the Sports Authority of India as well the GoSports Foundation, whom he is supported by, for extending their support and ensuring that he remained in top shape.
“The suspension of the PCI last year was disheartening for us Indian Para-athletes. But thankfully the Sports Authority of India stepped up and facilitated my international training in Finland ahead of the Paralympic Games. In addition, GoSports Foundation, a non-profit trust, funded the purchase of three new high quality Javelin equipment for my training and use at the Paralympics.
“So although personally my preparations were on the right track, IPC's decision to lift the ban on PCI meant Indian para athletes as myself would be allowed to compete at the Paralympic Games under the Indian tricolour,” Devendra told Sportskeeda.
The 35-year-old welcomed the move by the IPC and added that it would certainly serve as a boost for him to repeat his exploits from the 2004 Paralympics, where he won the Gold in Javelin throw.
“This is a tremendous morale boost for all Indian para athletes and I personally am fully motivated to emulate my gold medal winning feat at the 2004 Paralympic Games," he said.
The 2016 Rio Paralympics commence from the 7th of September and go on until the 18th of September.
Jhajharia is supported by the GoSports Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Bengaluru.