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Physically-challenged athlete for Sharjah meet

Staff Reporter


Thirumalai is one of the seven athletes selected by Indian Paralympics Association

He will be taking part in discus throw and shot put in F57 category


VIJAYAWADA: A physically-challenged athlete Thirumalai Kumar, employed with South Central Railway Vijayawada Division, will represent the country in the UAE Athletic Championship to be held in Sharjah from May 3 to 6.

A senior commercial clerk, he is one of the seven athletes selected by the Indian Paralympics Association (IPA) to compete in the championship, a selection meet for the forthcoming London Paralympics Games to be held in 2012.

Born at Sivakasi in Viridhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, he has proved that physical disability is not a hindrance for achieving success in one's chosen pursuit. While he was nine months old polio struck crippling his right leg, but that did not deter him from pursuing sports passionately.

He went on to master swimming and took part in many international events before shifting to athletics (sitting posture).

“I will be taking part in discus throw and shot put in F57 category,” says the brave-heart athlete, who practises at the Railway Mini Stadium with a prop that supports his weak right leg. “This prop helped me throw the disc without any discomfort. I saw an Iranian athlete using this type of support. I took the specifications from him and got it done in Bangalore for Rs.5, 000,” he told The Hindu.

Along with Mr. Kumar, a student from Prakasam District P. Venu, will also take part in the meet in the shot put and discus throw in F 56 category. “Venu, a three-time national champion, is participating in an international meet abroad for the first time. Both his legs are polio stricken,” he observed.

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