Asian Para Games gold medallists Amit Kumar Saroha and Sandeep Chaudhary have qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics, the former after battling a recent bout of COVID-19 infection. Two-time Paralympian Saroha will be representing the country in the F51 category in discus throw and club throw. F51 refers to limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement. While Chaudhary will be competing in the F-44 (lower limb competing without prosthesis affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement) javelin throw event at the Tokyo Paralympics, to be held from August 24 to September 5.

The Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) is expected to officially announce a 24-member athletics squad for the Games on Friday.

“Finally Got Selected For Tokyo Paralympic, It’s My Third Paralympic Games.

“To be honest, this journey of Tokyo selection was not easy because a few days before the trial, there was a lot of weakness in the body due to corona, but in our Haryana, it is said of courage. Ram’s support,” Saroha tweeted.

“Also, it is a matter of happiness that two of my students Ekta and Dharambir have also been selected for Tokyo. As a coach and mentor, what can be more proud of me than this!! If you all keep your links together, then this time we will definitely bring medals,” he wrote.

Saroha’s Road to Tokyo wasn’t easy as he recovered from the dreaded COVID-19 just before the final national selection trials at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

The journey was full of hardships for the 36-year-old Saroha, who will representing India in his third Paralympics, in Tokyo. He suffered a car accident when he was 22, which left him a quadriplegic due to compression of the spinal cord.

Before his injury, Saroha was a national level hockey player but was forced to shift to parasports after being confined to a weheelchair.

Saroha has two silver medals in the IPC World Athletics Championships but his biggest achievement is a gold at the men’s club throw (F51) at the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games.

Chaudhary, on the other hand, will be representing India in his first Paralympics.

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He booked his ticket to Tokyo with an unofficial world record throw of 66.44m.

Chaudhary represented India at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, where he won a gold medal and set a new world record with 60.01m.

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