After losing leg at LoC, soldier Anandan Gunasekharan wins three gold medals
Gunasekaran's next aim is to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. "My selection trial [200m] for Tokyo is in May next year
New Delhi: Army soldier, Anandan Gunasekaran (32), who lost his left leg in a mine blast near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in 2008, has made India proud by bagging three gold medals at the Military World Games in China recently. Blade runner Gunasekaran won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m events for para-athletes at the Military World Games that concluded in Wuhan on Sunday.
Gunasekaran's next aim is to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. "My selection trial [200m] for Tokyo is in May next year. That's my next target," he said. In August, Gunasekaran won 200m gold at the World Para Athletics GP in Paris. In the previous edition of the Military World Games in South Korea (2015), he had won the gold in 200m and a silver in the 100m dash.
An avid sportsman throughout his career, Gunasekaran, who was inducted into the Madras Sappers of the Indian Army in September 2005, took to competitive running only after the mine blast left him permanently disabled. He recalled that fateful day (June 4, 2008) in Kupwara, J&K. "I was descending a slope with three soldiers along the LoC. My colleagues were ahead of me. I was the last in the group and stepped on a hidden landmine. I was unlucky; the area was not a minefield," Gunasekaran told IANS.
He was rushed to a Srinagar hospital where his disfigured limb was amputated below the knee. "I didn't reveal the amputation to my family initially and just reached home in Kumbakonam [Tamil Nadu] one day with a wooden prosthetic leg. I told them my leg had to be amputated due to an infection," he said. Gunasekaran ran in the 2012 Mumbai Marathon with a wooden prosthetic leg and covered 2.5km in 9.58 minutes. The army provided a prosthetic blade in 2014. "One should never lose heart even in most dire circumstances. My motto in life is to pick myself up and run each time I fall," he said.
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