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Paralympics: Vinod Kumar loses his bronze medal

Bengaluru, August 30: Vinod Kumar has lost his discus throw bronze medal at Paralympics 2020 after being found ineligible in disability classification assessment by the competition panel.

Vinod's classification in F52, which is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, was done on August 22 by the organisers.

The 41-year-old BSF man, whose Army man father was injured during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, produced a best throw of 19.91M to finish third behind Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) of Poland and Velimir Sandor (19.98m) of Croatia on Sunday.

However, the result was challenged by some competitors.

"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 organisers said in a statement.

The athlete is therefore ineligible for the Men's F52 Discus medal event and his results in that competition are void," it added.

F52 is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, with athletes competing in seated position with cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, and functional disorder.

Para-athletes are classified depending on the type and extent of their disability. The classification system allows athletes to compete those with a similar level of ability.

A few hours after the discus throw final was over on Sunday, Vinod's results were put on hold.

At that time India's Chef de Mission Gursharan Singh had hoped the discus thrower will be able to to hold on to to it.

It was not clear on what grounds the classification has been challenged.

"Results of this event are currently under review due to classification observation in competition. The Victory Ceremony has been postponed to the evening session of 30th August," read a statement from the Games organisers.

"There was a protest from one country or may be more than one, we don''t know as it can''t be revealed, that there could be issues on the classification done on Vinod before the start of Paralympics," he said.

Vinod had set an Asian record while winning the bronze medal. Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) of Poland and Velimir Sandor (19.98m) of Croatia won the gold and silver respectively.

He injured his legs while training after joining the BSF, falling off a cliff in Leh that left him bed-ridden for close to a decade during which he lost both his parents.

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Story first published: Monday, August 30, 2021, 8:05 [IST]
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