I Asked Four Officials Before I Could Actually Believe That I Had Won Silver Medal: Nishad
Nishad said, "I would like to thank our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for ensuring that we have the full support of the govt in anything we need - diet, equipment, coaching. I feel honoured that I have been invited by the Sports Minister and he met and felicitated me on the very first day of my return to India. I have never had this experience before and now the feeling of the win is really sinking in."
New Delhi: Nishad Kumar, Silver medalist in the High Jump event of Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020, is overjoyed with his performance and trying to believe what he has achieved. He came back to Delhi yesterday and said." I could not believe that I had won a silver at the Paralympics. I asked four officials before I could actually believe it." Nishad equaled the Asian record set by him earlier this year with the 2.06-meter jump.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all the support and facilities provided by the Government. " I would like to thank our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for ensuring that we have the full support of the govt in anything we need - diet, equipment, coaching. I feel honoured that I have been invited by the Sports Minister and he has met me and felicitated me on the very first day of my return to India. I have never had this experience before and now the feeling of the win is really sinking in," he said
Nishad has been training at the National camp in SAI Bengaluru under the guidance of coach Satyanarayana. The Government of India duly supported Nishad ahead of the Games in terms of facilitating foreign exposure trips and over four international competitions to the tune of Rs 10.50 Lakh from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and Rs 10.21 Lakh from the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC).
Nishad 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 2.07m at the Para Athletics Selection Trials held in Delhi in June, and this helped him secure a spot on the Indian Team for the Tokyo 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.
Nishad, who comes from a humble family of farmers, was only eight years old when his right hand was damaged by a grass-cutting machine on his family’s farm. However, he did not let this incident deter his spirit. Two years later, he started practicing in the High jump on his school grounds. Nishad competed in the School Nationals, along with able-bodied athletes, in 2017 where he finished 10th with a jump of 1.75m. After completing his schooling in the same year, Nishad moved to Panchkula to train at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium. It was no looking behind for him after that!