Sharad Kumar: creating history

Sharad Kumar is an Indian para high jumper and a former world no. 1. Born in Muzaffarpur, he made his international debut at the 2010 Asian Para Games. At the 2014 Asian Para Games, he won the GOLD MEDAL in high jump (T42), breaking a 12 year Asian Games record, and reclaimed the world no. 1 position. Kumar participated in the 2016 Summer Paralympics finishing sixth. He won SILVER in 2017 World Para Athletics Championships. He is supported by GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme.

Sharad Kumar, who bagged bronze medal in the men’s high jump T42 event at the Tokyo Paralympics, had suffered a paralysis attack when he was only 18 months old. Elated over his second son’s feat, Surendra Singh said it was the God’s grace and attributed the success to Sharad’s determination to scale new heights in life.

There was also a festive mood at Sharad’s native village Kodarkatta Puran under Motipur block in Muzaffarpur district on Tuesday. The villagers distributed sweets and exchanged greetings soon after the news broke about the son of the soil winning a bronze medal at the Paralympics. Recalling the incident,  Surendra said a spurious vaccine had caused polio attack in Sharad’s laft leg. However, it took years to get rid of that. “Thank God that he finally got over it. And today he delivered what we had expected from him,” he said.

He said Sharad was a bit upset after suffering injury in his leg ahead of his event at Tokyo. But he recited the shlokas of the Bhagwat Geeta to regain strength and determination to perform well today, a visibly delighted Surendra said. Sharad was good at studies since his childhood. He was sent to St. Paul’s School at Darjeeling at three and a half years. Initially he had keen interest in cricket and then in athletics.

“While playing with his schoolmates at Darjeeling, he developed keen interest in high jump. Later, he was appreciated by the school authorities for his outstanding performance as an athlete despite having physical disability.” Since then, he never looked back.

“Being a good student and an excellent sportsperson is a rare combination,” Surendra, who lives at his Exhibition Road residence in Patna, told this newspaper over phone. The family was celebrating Sharad’s success as calls poured in to congratulate them.

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