Para athlete Sundar Gurjar picks Paris Grand Prix over Arjuna ceremony
India's para-athlete Sundar Gurjar, a javelin and discus thrower, will be missing the function where he would have received the Arjuna Award
Some of the country's leading sportspersons will be honoured by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. It's a moment to cherish for athletes all of whom look forward to the glittering ceremony in New Delhi.
However, India's para-athlete Sundar Gurjar, a javelin and discus thrower, will be missing the function where he would have received the Arjuna Award. He is participating in the World Para Athletics Paris Grand Prix (August 29-30). This is the last event before the all-important World Para Championships in Dubai (November 7-15) and Gurjar was keen to compete as he aims to break compatriot Devendra Jhanjhariya world record of 63.97m he achieved at the Rio Paralympics in F46 category.
"I was looking forward to this awards ceremony. This is my first big award, but this GP event is clashing with the ceremony and my priority is to do well for my country at this event. This is the last competition before the World Para meet, which I have been preparing very hard for," Gurjar told mid-day from Paris on the eve of the GP event yesterday. Interestingly, Gurjar has a personal best throw of 68.42m, a national record he set at the National Games in Panchkula in 2016 but the event was not recognised by the international federation and so his record does not stand abroad.
Award can wait
Gurjar, 23, who lost his left hand — his wrist was severed when he hurt himself while placing a tin sheet atop his friend's house — felt the award can be collected later but the world record has to be broken now. "I am confident of breaking the javelin throw world record and the Paris meet is my best chance. Award toh baad main bhi le sakte hai [I can collect my award later too]," concluded the Haryana-based athlete.
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