Blog by: Raj Kishan
Robert Frost said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” True! If you are bold you are free. We are going to know about a very young and bold athlete. He is the pride of India; Varun Singh Bhati.
Varun Singh Bhati is Para high jumper, competing in T42 category. The young and the bold, Varun is just 23 years old and has already achieved quite a number of accolades in his field. Varun comes from Greater Noida. He was afflicted by Poliomyelitis at a very young age. Varun took sports in school days, since 2014, he is coached by Satyanarayana, a former national athlete. The GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme, supports Varun. And currently he trains at Sports Authority of India in Bangalore.
Varun has been active in sports at the highest level since a very young age. When he was just 17, in 2012, at the qualification for Paralympics London, he registered the ‘A’ qualification mark in the event with a performance of 1.60m. But as the slots were limited to India, he could not make the cut.
2014 was even better; 19 years old Varun was part of Indian team for Asian Para Games in Incheon, (Korea). He managed 5th place. In the same year he won a gold medal at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championship.
In 2015 he performed better than other established Indian Para high jumpers such as HN Girisha and Sharad Kumar but came in 5th again at the 2015 Para World Championship in Doha (Qatar).
In 2016 Summer Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he won the bronze medal, when he jumped 1.86M, his personal best. The following year, in 2017, he won bronze again in World Para Athletics Championships by clearing 1.77m jump.
For his achievements he was honoured with Arjuna Award in 2017. He clearly earned it. The young ambitious Para High Jumper dreams of The Khel Ratna, but he is still happy. “I am happy with the Arjuna Award because once you get the Khel Ratna, you cannot win the Arjuna Award. My coach told me that I am still young and I have time to win the Khel Ratna in the future, so I am very happy with the Arjuna Award. It’s quite satisfying that my achievements are being recognised and praised by the government.”
- 5th at 2014 Para Asian Games in Incheon (Korea)
- Gold medal at 2014 China Open Athletics Championship
- 5th at the Para World Championship in Doha (Qatar)
- Bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympics, Rio
- Gold medal at the 2017 Para Nationals, Jaipur
- Bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championship.
- Arjuna Award in 2017
The Paralympian had a special message to the youth of India, “Make sure you have a goal. Life without any goal is worthless. You should always be focused on your goal. Have faith in god and don’t stop until you achieve it! Life is too big to get disheartened at small failures.” Inspiring words for all of us!