NEW DELHI — Nishad Kumar, the silver medalist from the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games, said he is really proud of his achievement as his journey to the top has been very difficult.

“I want to thank everyone for their support; this medal holds a lot of importance for me,” he said. “It was my dream to win the medal in the Paralympics. I belong to Una district in Himachal Pradesh, where the scope of the game is very less. I feel proud of myself as my journey till here was very difficult.”

“I got full support from the government. Sports Authority of India & Target Olympic Podium Scheme helped me in everything, including equipment, diet & training. I want to tell youngsters that fix your target & give your 100 percent to achieve that.”

Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, on Aug. 31, felicitated Kumar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated him for his achievement.

“More joyful news comes from Tokyo! Absolutely delighted that Nishad Kumar wins the Silver medal in Men’s High Jump T47. He is a remarkable athlete with outstanding skills and tenacity. Congratulations to him,” tweeted Modi.

Kumar arrived in the national capital, Delhi, on Aug. 31. India’s Minister of State, Nisith Pramanik, also graced the event. He hails from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh won the silver with a jump of 2.06 meters in the Men’s High Jump T47 category at the Tokyo Paralympics.

At the Paralympic Games, Kumar equaled the Asian record set by him earlier this year with the 2.06 meters jump. He has been training at the national camp in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru, under the guidance of coach Satyanarayana.

The Government of India duly supported Kumar ahead of the Games in terms of facilitating foreign exposure trips and over four international competitions to the tune of INR 10.50 lakh ($14,000) from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme and INR 10.21 lakh ($13,500) from the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition.

Kumar has had a roller-coaster of a calendar year. He tested positive for Covid-19 twice, but he continued improving and set two Personal Bests in 2021. He jumped 2.07 meters at the Para Athletics Selection Trials held in Delhi in June, and this helped him secure a spot in the Indian team for the Tokyo Paralympics.

“A JUMP TO #SILVER! Asian record holder Nishad Kumar jumps 2.06m in Men’s High Jump T47 Final to earn # IND’s second medal of the day – setting another new Asian record along the way!” tweeted the official account of the Indian contingent for Olympics and Paralympics.

He won a gold medal in the High Jump T47 category at the Fazza Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai right before the pandemic in Dubai and repeated the feat at the same competition by winning the elusive gold also in 2021.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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