A big cheer ends with sudden disappointment: Why Vinod Kumar was declared ineligible for Bronze medal?

The Indian contingent in the ongoing Paralympic Games in Tokyo has been etching an impressive history with bagging successive medals and elating the Indian tricolour. Amid bringing huge cheers back to the country, India has braced up a sudden disappointment after a bronze medal awarded to discus thrower Vinod Kumar was taken back on Monday and the development had come as a setback to India's medal tally, which has been decorated by two Gold medals. 

Vinod Kumar has lost his F52 category bronze medal at the Paralympics, a day after triumphing it, under the grounds of being ineligible in disability classification assessment by the competition panel. According to reports, 41-year-old Vinod Kumar, who is a personnel in the Border Security Force (BSF), had produced a best throw of 19.91m and he finished third in the final competition, assuring a Bronze medal for India. While he finished in the third spot, Poland's Piotr Kosewicz and Croatia's Velimir Sandor had bagged the Gold and Silver medal respectively.

In an official press communication, the Olympic panel has said, "Following classification observation assessment in competition and subsequent re-assessment by the classification panel, 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 communication added. 

The reports say that the F52 sport class 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. It must be noted that para-athletes are classified depending on the type and extent of their disability. This system permits athletes to contest with those with the ability akin to them. 

The sudden ineligibility had pushed Vinod Kumar to give up his bronze medal. He was with BSF and he suffered an accident in which his left arm had become paralyzed and he was bed-ridden for more than a decade. He took inspiration from the Indian Paralympians who took part in the 2016 Rio games and he began his training in the discus throw and was selected to be a part of the Indian contingent in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. For India, Monday had become a medal day as the Indian fleet had given a big cheer to the country by winning five medals, including two gold medals. 

On Monday, 19-year-old shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history by winning the gold medal in the women's 10m Air Rifle. She had become the first Indian woman to win Gold in the Paralympics. With the sparkling gold, Avani has reserved a place in the club of Indian gold medallists in the Paralympic games. Avani is the fourth Indian athlete to win gold in the Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).  Currently, India stands at the 26th spot in the medals table with seven medals - two golds, four silvers, and one bronze. With this remarkable milestone, India has surpassed its best-ever medal tally at the Paralympic Games.