Vivek Chikara made the whole nation proud as he won a gold medal in the men’s recurve open event at the Asian Para Archery Championships on Thursday. The 29-year-old champion recorded a 7-1 win over China’s Sijun Wang to bag the top honours.
He lost his left leg in an accident 2 years ago but that didn’t stop him from touching the pinnacle of success. Yes, he is an inspiration to all para-athletes now. From losing his left in an accident to clinching gold at the 2019 Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok on Thursday, Vivek Chikara’s life went through a complete turnaround since 2017.
Before that, Vivek literally had no clue about the sport. He was plying his trade for Mahindra & Mahindra and posted in Saharanpur. His elder brother and sister both got married and he used to regularly send cash back home to assist his family in Meerut. It was on New Year’s day, he met with an unfortunate accident.
On the way back to Meerut while riding his bike, a truck hit his vehicle from behind. He was rushed to a hospital and the surgeons said that his left leg had to be amputated from below the knee.
“From sending money back home, now I have to constantly ask for money from my father. I feel ashamed but I’m hopeful the sport can help me in the long run,” the 28-year-old added from Bangkok.
Apart from claiming the top honours in the men’s recurve open event, he had also clinched bronze in the team recurve event. Vivek chose archery as it was the only sport he could play. “Utilising my upper body strength was the aim and archery suited my requirements. I even quit my job as the company wanted me to work over-time while I wanted extra practice hours.”
It is worth mentioning here that the Asian Para Archery Championship is only his 3rd international competition since he started training back in January 2018. Interestingly, he has already qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics after his joint 9th place finish at the World Para Archery Championships.
“I have never seen anybody work this hard. While most archers shoot about 100 arrows, he trains twice a day and shoots no less than 250. Head coach Satyadev Prasad has mentored him and always had faith in his abilities. He picked up the basics in double-quick time,” Udham said while praising Vivek Chikara’s spirit.
Vivek now trains in Sonepat and he wants a job so that he can start taking care of himself. “I called my father first after the victory and he congratulated me and was hopeful of a change in fortunes. I had studied hard and had done well in life before the accident. All I want is to get back to those days and at least start earning. My work ethic has brought me till here.”
“A superb performance from Vivek Chikara as he wins the gold medal in men’s recurve open event at the Asian Para Archery Championships after a 7-1 win over China’s Sijun Wang. Kiren Rijiju congratulates him on the win,” said a tweet from the sports minister’s office.