High jumper Nishad Kumar focuses on 'excellence' at Para Worlds, records can follow!

New Delhi, May 15 Para Asian Games champion Nishad Kumar, who holds an Asian record in the Men’s High Jump T47 category, is not mulling over setting a world record. Instead, he aims to give his best at the upcoming World Para Athletics Championships, which will be held from May 17 to 25 in Kobe, Japan.

Nishad bagged a gold medal in the Men's High Jump T47 category, a classification for athletes with unilateral upper limb impairment, at the Asian Para Games last year in China. He claimed the gold medal with a best jump of 2.02m.

"I haven't given it much thought; time will tell how it turns out. However, my preparation has been excellent. I won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Championship, and in the 2023 World Championship in Paris, I earned the silver. This year's training has been significantly better compared to previous years. I'm not focused on breaking any records; it depends on the day, but I will give it my all," Nishad told IANS when asked if he would be aiming for a world record in Japan.

The 24-year-old made his first Paralympic Games appearance in Tokyo 2020, where he went on to claim a silver medal with an Asian record of 2.06m.

"I recorded a jump of 2.06m at the Tokyo Paralympics and I was training at Bengaluru SAI. I’ve spent about 5-6 months training in the USA. Now, I've returned from the US for the world championships. My performance in Paris 2024 will surpass my Tokyo results. I can't predict the colour of the medals, but I can assure you my performance will be up to the mark," said the Asian Games champion on bettering his performance at the Paris Paralympics.

Nishad said after the world championships in Japan, he will "return to the USA in June for training, adding that those "70-75 days will be crucial for his Paralympic preparation."

Talking about the government's assistance in arranging an overseas training opportunity, Nishad revealed, "I went to the US on January 11, initially supported by OGQ for two months, followed by government support for a 75-day training stint. The government provides international training exposure for a specific time frame. After the World Championship, the government will support me again, and I will return to the US for training at Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center."

Two-time Paralympics gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia was in March elected as the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president, succeeding another celebrated para-athlete Deepa Malik.

When asked about what has changed since the new administration came into action, the para-athlete from Una, Himachal Pradesh, concluded by saying, "From what I have learned, the management is doing well. The organisation of all aspects related to foreign training, including travel and accommodation, is already very advanced, which is very beneficial for us."

Source: IANS
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