Para Athletics: Praveen, Nishad set Asian records; India finish with 23 medals

Para Athletics: Praveen, Nishad set Asian records; India finish with 23 medals

Dubai, February 15, 2021

Teenaged high jumpers Praveen Kumar and Nishad Kumar produced personal best jumps to take a gold each and set new Asian records as the curtains came down on the 12th Fazza International Championships – Dubai 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix here on Saturday evening.

Praveen’s and Nishad’s gold medal-winning efforts were the high points in the final day's action for India who also had three silver and a bronze on the day, to end their campaign at the championships with 23 medals.

At the end of the competition, India were among the top finishers in the medals tally with Thailand returning home with 34 medals, while Turkey, Kenya and India finished with 23 medals.

Hosts UAE ended with 14 medals including two silver by their Paralympic medallist middle-distance racer Mohammed Al Hammadi.

After a stellar show from the Indian javelin throwers on Day 3, expectations were high from the high jumpers and they didn’t disappoint.

Eighteen-year-old Praveen's 2.05m jump was enough to make a new Asian record and fetch him the gold in men's high jump F42/44/64. He finished ahead of former Asian Para Games gold medallist and fellow Indian Sharad Kumar (1.76 m) and Hamada Hassan who also cleared the 1.76m bar.

“I managed a very good jump today. I am very happy that I got my personal best here. After so long I was competing, so I was a bit nervous. But all my hard work paid off here today. Also thanks to my coach Satyapal Sir who has been guiding me in my training,” said the 2019 World Junior silver medallist.

This was Praveen's first senior international gold in his second senior event after the Dubai 2019 Worlds where he had booked a quota with his fourth-place finish.

In one of the last events of the day, Nishad, who already has booked a quota for India with his bronze medal finish at the Dubai 2019 Worlds, leapt to his personal best 2.06 m for the gold and an Asian record in men’s high jump T46/47.

The Indian promising star was better than Thailand’s Angkarn Chanaboon (1.93 m) and Omadbek Khasanov Uzbekistan (1.90 m).

Earlier, Simran won her second medal in the championships – a silver in the women’s 400m final T13 event, crossing the finish line in 1:01.56mins. Simran already had a gold in the women’s 100m T13.

Bhagyashri Mahavr Jadhav claimed the silver in women’s Shot Put F34 with a throw of 6,18 m finishing second to Morocco’s Saida Amoudi (8,33 m).

Atul Kaushik claimed the bronze in Men’s Discus F57 event clearing a distance of 42.00 m.

The final day also had a new world record set by Morocco's Hind Frioua in club 397g women final F31/32/51 with a throw of 20.45 m.

Congratulating the team, Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik said: “Our Para athletes have made us really very proud. This Championship was important in regard to their returning back to shape in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, besides giving exposure to a few new faces."

"The Championship was also the season opener for Para Athletics after more than a year's gap, so a good performance will definitely boost their confidence. We are delighted that our athletes delivered what was expected from them," she added.

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