Suyash Jadhav became the first para swimmer from India to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. His journey of valor and refusal to bow down to circumstances will be remembered and cherished for the times to come.
Having a father who competed in swimming competitions at the state level showed in the upbringing given to Suyash. He was motivated by his father to take up the sport and started training at the tender age of 3 years.
Suyash was a swimmer for the future. He competed and won at various competitions. However, as fate would have it, Suyash Jadhav was involved in an unfortunate accident at one of his cousin's weddings. 11-year-old Jadhav was electrocuted by a live wire at the ceremony. His condition got so bad that the doctors had to remove his forearms below his elbows to give him a chance to survive.
The initial phase that followed the accident was a nightmare. He quit swimming and was confined to being dejected and demotivated. It was one of his teacher's words that struck a chord with him. The teacher told him that if he continued seeking sympathy for his accident, he would look for it his entire life.
This motivated Suyash to take to the pool once again. On a family visit to a small temple town, Suyash and his family were living next to a pond. Suyash decided to enter the pond and started swimming. To his surprise, he managed that with relative ease.
Suyash's father was heartened to see his son's love for swimming reinvigorated. He took the effort to learn up about para swimming and gave him the motivation to pursue the sport. That was the turning point for Suyash.
Just three years later, Suyash Jadhav was competing and winning medals at national level. In the following decade, he won several international competitions as well. Some of his wins came at notable events like the Iwas World Games in Russia.
Suyash Jadhav's recent performances
In 2016, Jadhav became the first Indian swimmer to make the 'A' cut for the Rio Paralympic Games. He had a successful outing in the Brazilian capital and managed to better his personal bests in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle events.
In the four years since the Rio games, Suyash has taken massive strides forward. He has won gold medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games and the World Championships. He was also conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
Once again, Suyash will dive into the pool with an aim to take the podium place. He qualified for 2 events - a 200m medley and a 50m butterfly - for the Tokyo Paralympics. However, he is missing out on the 200m race scheduled for friday due to an illness. He will be in action at the 50m butterfly event on September 3.