Amit Kumar Saroha is one of India's biggest names in Paralympics. The 36-year-old's journey has been inspirational for many para athletes in India. He was a former hockey player, but had to quit the sport after a car accident at the age of 22. Despite that disappointment, Amit Saroha fought back and made his way into competitive sports by becoming a para-athlete.
Amit Kumar Saroha and his journey in para-sports
His meeting with rugby player Jonathan Sigworth was the turning point in his life, the American had come to promote para-sports in India and Amit was intrigued by this as this was the first time that he had heard about para-sports. He joined Sigworth in promoting wheelchair rugby in India.
Later in a wheelchair rugby demonstration match against Brazil, he met many other para-athletes and learnt that his injury comes under the F-51 nomenclature. Players with limb deficiency, leg length differences, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement come under F-51.
How many medals has Amit Kumar Saroha won in his career?
Amit Kumar Saroha made his entry into Para-Sports in fantastic fashion as he clinched a silver in discuss throw. Just a year later he sealed his first Paralympic spot by breaking the Asian record in the Olympic qualifiers held in Kuala Lumpur. He was awarded the Arjuna award in 2013, for his brilliant performances in para-sport events internationally.
Amit Kumar won a gold and silver in the 2014 Asian Para Games held in Korea. Not only did he win gold in club throw, but he was also successful in breaking the Asian record after a 21.3 meter throw. He kept racking up medals on the world stage as he clinched silver at the World Parathletics Championship in 2015, and broke another Asian record, as he won silver in the 2017 World Championship with a 30.25 meter throw.
Amit Kumar Saroha's take on the life of para-athletes
Amit Kumar Saroha is also a motivational speaker and is a huge part of the promotion of Para-Sports in India. Saroha has previously been invited to many top institutions like IIT Guwahati, BITS and Pilani as a guest speaker.
While talking about the struggles of para-athletes in his interview with Sportskeeda, Kumar said, "You need to put in a lot of effort for the medal. You should try and live for a week with athletes like us. You’ll find out how we sleep at night. Devendra (Para Javelin thrower) will have a pillow below his hand, below his back. A sport is anyways tough for general people but it gets tougher for para-athletes like us."