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Praveen Kumar Bags Silver and Asian Record at Tokyo Paralympics

India have so far won 11 medals at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

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Continuing with India’s great run of form at the Tokyo Paralympics, Praveen Kumar became the latest to clinch a medal as he took silver in men's high jump T64 event with an Asian record. It is India’s 11th medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Great Britain’s Jonathan Broom-Edwards won gold, while Poland's Maciej Lepiato clinched bronze.

For the 18-year-old Praveen this is his debut Paralympic Games, and he made it even more memorable with an Asian record with a 2.07m jump.

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Praveen is India’s fourth medallist in high jump after Nishad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

T64 classification is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.

T44, the disability classification that Kumar has but is eligible to compete in T64, is for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs.

His impairment, which is congenital, affects the bones that connect his hip to his left leg.

The ongoing Games are turning out to be India's best ever and the nation has so far claimed two gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

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This is Praveen Kumar's first medal in his maiden Paralympic Games. The 18-year-old born in Kotla Mubarakpur in New Delhi, had won a silver medal in Men's High Jump T44 in World Para Athletics Junior Championship-2019 at Nottwil, Switzerland, and a gold medal with Asian record in World Para Athletics FAZZA Grand Prix 2021, Dubai.

But interestingly, Praveen Kumar, whose one leg was short since birth and thus his impairment affects the bones that connect his hip to his left leg, had no idea about para-sports or high jump till a few years back. Interested in volleyball for years, he once participated in a high jump competition for able-bodied and fell in love with athletics -- particularly high jump.

It was around this time that he came to know that there are sports for the handicapped too and decided to participate in para-sports. Someone told him about para athletics coach, Dr. Satyapal Singh, and he went to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, with his father and met the coach who changed his life. Dr. Satyapal Singh motivated him a lot to do para-sports and started training him.

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