He has spent the higher a part of final three years in Ukraine getting battle-ready for the 2020 Paralympics however with the COVID-19 pandemic inflicting a postponement, achieved Indian excessive jumper Sharad Kumar is grappling with the anxiousness of “starting from the scratch” once more. Kumar has been coaching in Ukraine since 2017 in his bid to win a medal on the Tokyo Paralympics, postponed to subsequent 12 months because of the pandemic.
A double Asian Para Games excessive leap champion and a world silver-medallist, Kumar stated the considered having to attend for an additional 12 months is making him uneasy.
“I have done meticulous planning and hard training in last three years with the sole aim of a medal in Paralympics. Now I am not doing any training,” Kumar informed PTI fro Ukraine.
“…there will be no competition this year and so I have to start from the scratch next year,” he stated.
“Naturally I am disappointed but what can I do. The world is in crisis now. Sports is secondary at present. Athletes are human beings also and I am not thinking about sports now but about the misery the world is facing.” The 28-year-old is at the moment based mostly in Kharkiv, the second largest metropolis in Ukraine which is sort of 500km from capital Kiev. He is coaching underneath Nikitan Yevhen who was earlier in India as a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach.
Kumar gained a gold within the excessive leap T42 class in 2014 Asian Para Games earlier than ending on high once more in 2018 in T42/63 class.
His silver profitable effort within the 2019 IPC World Para-Athletics Championships (1.83m) in Dubai fetched him a ticket to the Tokyo Paralympics, which is able to now be held from August 24 to September 1 subsequent 12 months.
The excessive leap T42/63 class is for athletes who’ve decrease limb deficiency, leg size distinction, impaired muscle energy and impaired vary of motion.
At the age of two, Kumar suffered paralysis of his left leg after being administered a spurious polio drugs throughout an area eradication drive.
“I will not say I am desperate to go back home, because I have become used to here as I have been training for last three years. But the postponement of Paralympics has been a big disappointment,” stated Kumar, who was born in Patna.
“I have won back-to-back gold medals in the last two Asian Para Games, won a medal each (both silver) in IPC World Para-Athletics Championships.
“I have been a world number one. The only thing I have not won is a Paralympics medal. That is my ultimate dream,” he added.
Asked if he’s lacking dwelling, he stated, “I was in India after the IPC World Para-Athletics late last year. I would have loved to come back home if possible. But there is no international flight operating currently.” Kumar, who donated Rs 1 lakh to the PM Cares Fund to battle the pandemic, is at the moment underneath the federal government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme and he’s additionally a SAI coach.
Besides, he’s getting assist from GoSports Foundation.
“The support from TOPS and GoSports is not enough. I have to spend from my pocket for the accommodation here which is not cheap,” stated Kumar who holds a Masters in International Relations from the celebrated Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
On how is he spending time with out coaching out of the country, he stated, “I am following stock exchanges on the internet. I started investing in stock market shares since I was a 17-year-old. So, I surf internet and collect information on stocks and shares.
“We athletes need extra income. I am a SAI coach but any additional income is welcome. The share markets are going down these days due to this coronavirus and it is good for investors in stock market if you put money intelligently.”
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