Vinod Kumar, the Indian discus thrower who fetched bronze at the Tokyo Paralympics, has been stripped of his bronze medal after the Tokyo Paralympics Technical Delegates decided that Kumar was not eligible for Discus F52 class. The delegates have declared Vinod Kumar's result in the competition void and the Paralympian has lost his bronze medal, reports news agency ANI.
After Vinod Kumar won bronze at the discus throw event, his disability classification as F52 was challenged. The F52 classification is for athletes who have impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length movement. Vinod's classification was done by Paralympics organisers on August 22. But on Monday, Vinod Kumar was found ineligible for the F52 class.
Vinod Kumar won bronze after a best throw of 19.91m to finish third behind Poland's Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) and Croatia's Velimir Sandor (19.98m).
41-year-old Vinod Kumar works with India's Border Security Force (BSF). Kumar hurt his legs while training after he joined the BSF. His father, who worked in the Indian Army, had suffered injuries during the Indo–Pak war in 1971.
According to official communication from the Paralympics authority, "...the panel was unable to allocate the athlete Vinod Kumar from NPC India with a sport class and the athlete was designated as Classification not Completed (CNC)".
"The athlete is therefore ineligible for the Men's F52 Discus medal event and his results in that competition are void," the statement read.
Para-athletes are classified on the basis of the type and extent of their disability. The classification system allows athletes to compete with those with a similar level of ability.
Meanwhile, Indian shooter Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Games.