Tokyo: In a bizarre turn of events, after the assessment of competition panel found that Indian discus thrower Vinod Kumar is ineligible to compete in disability classification, the 41-year-old BSF man on Monday lost his F52 category bronze medal at the Paralympics.
In his debut Games, Vinod had thrown his best of 19.91m finishing third in the item, while Poland's Piotr Kosewicz finished first with 20.02m and Croatia's Velimir Sandor threw 19.98m to finish second 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 sports 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.
In Paralympics, athletes are classified based on the type and extent of their disability. The classification thus allows them to compete with those with a similar ability.
The category F52 is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, with athletes competing in seated positions with cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and functional disorder. Vinod's classification was done on August 22
Earlier the statement by the Games organisers had clarified that the results of the event are under review due to classification observation in the competition and thus the Victory ceremony of the event was postponed to the evening session of August 30.
Vinod Kumar's throw touched an Asian record and dug out the third medal for India on this edition of Paralympics. He injured his legs, falling off a cliff in Leh while training after he joined BSF. He was bed-ridden for a decade while he lost his parents. When his condition improved, he joined Rohtak's Sports Authority of India centre and had won a couple of bronze at national levels.
He had finished fourth in the world championships in 2019. He scripted a fantastic story of resilience through his performance in the Tokyo Paralympics 2021.