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JHAJHARIA Devendra
Sport Para athletics
NPC India   
GenderMen
Age40
Place of BirthChuru, IND
Height1.86 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
F46
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Manju, one daughter, one son
Residence
Jaipur, IND
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English, Hindi
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para athletics in 1995. He got involved in the sport seriously in 1997 after coach Ripudaman Singh Aulakh saw him competing at a school competition.
Why this sport?
"There's no special story behind this. I was in a government school and there was a culture for athletics there. I tried shot put and I found it to be heavy, discus I didn't enjoy much, but I really took to javelin throw. I liked it because I could do it with one arm. I didn't get much support from my school. They would say I shouldn't bother with sports. At home, I got plenty of support from my mother. Her support was the biggest reason I took up the sport."
Name of coach
Sunil Tanwar [personal]
Training Regime
He focuses on recovery rather than high-intensity workouts. "If I train in the morning, I make sure I have recovered fully before hitting the ground in the evening. At 40, my training routine can't be the same that I followed two decades back. At this stage, my priority is to stay fit and avoid injuries."
Senior International Debut
Year
2002
Competing for
India
Location
Busan, KOR
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Most influential person in career
His mother. (scroll.in, 02 Jun 2020; Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Hero / Idol
Indian sprinter Milkha Singh. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Injuries
He suffered a shoulder injury while training in Finland one month ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He was still able to compete at the Games and won gold in the F46 javelin throw. (timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 15 Sep 2016)

He pulled out of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing after he injured his shoulder during training. (deccanherald.com, 24 Nov 2009)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"When you are determined, you can do anything in this world." (timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 21 Jul 2021)
Awards and honours
In 2021 he was named Para Sportsman of the Decade at the Sportstar ACES Awards in India. (sportstar.thehindu.com, 01 Apr 2021)

In 2017 he received the Khel Ratna Award in India. (ndtv.com, 17 Sep 2018)

He was flag bearer for India at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (myinfo.rio2016.com, 06 Sep 2016)

He was named the 2014 Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry [FICCI] Para Sportsperson of the Year. (thesalute.in, 05 Jan 2015)

In 2012 he received the Padma Shri. The honour is the fourth highest civilian award in India. (thesalute.in, 05 Jan 2015)

In 2005 he was given the Arjuna Award by the Indian government. The same year the government in Rajasthan presented him with the Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award. (indianetzone.com, 05 Mar 2012)
Milestones
He became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in athletics at the Paralympic Games when he claimed victory in the F46 javelin throw at the 2004 Games in Athens. 12 years later in Rio de Janeiro, he became the first Indian athlete to win two gold medals in any sport at the Paralympic Games when he triumphed again in the F46 javelin. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Nov 2018; paralympic.org, 17 Sep 2018)

He won India's first gold medal at the world Para athletics championships by claiming victory in the F46 javelin throw at the 2013 edition of the tournament in Lyon, France. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Nov 2018; ndtv.com, 15 Jul 2013)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 22 May 2021)
Impairment
At age eight he lost his left hand after touching an electric wire while climbing a tree. Doctors were unable to save the limb and it was amputated. (indianetzone.com, 05 Mar 2012; deccanherald.com, 24 Nov 2009)
Other information
PARALYMPIC MEMORIES
He self-funded his journey to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, where he won India's first athletics Paralympic gold medal. "That medal was a turning point for Para sports in India. It was then that government recognised the Paralympic Committee of India and was affiliated. I went to Athens using my own funds and after that things changed significantly. If you go back and see my video from 2004, my training involved an axe and a cycle's tube. An axe helps in making your shoulder strong and a tube to strengthen my hand. Now no one uses such equipment. There are great quality therabands, theratubes and medicine balls. The sport of then and now [speaking in 2020] is very different. I feel like I've practised and competed alongside two generations of athletes." (firstpost.com, 23 Jul 2020)

NOT DONE YET
In 2018 he considered retiring from the sport due to a recurring shoulder injury that he originally sustained in 2016. However, he decided to continue after discussions with his coaches and family, and in 2021 he said he planned on competing at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. "I am not getting any younger. My right shoulder was causing me a lot of trouble. I am not thinking about retirement at all now [speaking in 2020]. I am completely fit. I have worked hard and lost weight. Now I just have to fight and win [at the 2020 Paralympic Games] in Tokyo. Age is just a number for me. After Tokyo, I will come up with a new plan for the Paris Paralympics." (timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 21 Jul 2021, 09 Oct 2018; scroll.in, 16 Jan 2020; firstpost.com, 09 Oct 2018)

EARLY DAYS
He believes his success in Para athletics has been aided by competing against able-bodied athletes in his early sporting career. "When in college, I would compete with able-bodied athletes. The reason I've been able to create world records, coming from a country like India, is because I competed alongside able-bodied athletes and I wasn't even aware of the Para sports. We didn't have a culture of sports for Para athletes back then. I've been a multiple university champion, won multiple medals at youth level. I was mentally prepared to compete in able-bodied events. The whole reason for that success is not knowing the presence of Para sports, so I trained my mind accordingly." (firstpost.com, 23 Jul 2020)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
1 2016 Javelin Throw F46 63.97
2 2021 Javelin Throw F46 64.35
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2013 Javelin Throw F46 57.04
2 2015 Javelin Throw F46 59.06
Asian Para Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014 Javelin Throw F46 58.45
7 2014 Discus Throw F46 30.31
4 2018 Javelin Throw F46 59.17