The World Para Athletics Championship kicked off on the 14th of July and so far, the Indian athletes have been performing remarkably well. In the Men’s High Jump T42 event, India’s Sharad Kumar clinched silver. To cap it all off, Rio Paralympics bronze medallist Varun Bhati, settled for bronze in the same event. Sam Grewe, an American high jumper, finished the event on top but Kumar was just 0.02 metres away with an effort of 1.84m. Bhati registered a jump of 1.77m.
“It feels good but I thought I’d jump higher than this. I’d come here chasing a gold medal, but I’ll have to make do with silver,” said a jubilant Sharad. Bhati, on the other hand, wasn’t satisfied with his performance but was pleased to come away with a medal. Both Kumar and Bhati acknowledged the British weather and its influence on their performance. “As long as we are warmed up well, it’s a beautiful weather to jump. The only reason we were having trouble was because we are one-legged jumpers and the ground becomes slippery due to rain. Otherwise, it was fine for us,” said Kumar. Bhati said that the cold weather made his leg a little ‘sluggish’ and a 1.77m was the best that he could do in that kind of climate.
Kumar’s silver and Bhati’s bronze meant that India’s medal tally rose to 5 medals. they now join the ranks of Sundar Singh Gurjar, Amit Saroha and Karamjyoti Dalal who have a gold, a silver and a bronze respectively.