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Paris Olympics background stories ft. Kishore Jena

Paris Olympics background stories ft. Kishore Jena

At Paris Olympics 2024, India might end up producing two medals in javelin -- one by Neeraj Chopra & other by Kishore Jena.

Javelin has become synonymous with Neeraj Chopra in the last three years, and rightly so. The man has won every prize there is; right from the Olympics gold, to World Championships gold, to Diamond League Finals, to the Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Games. So it goes without saying, that it would be difficult for any other athlete in the same sport, to be as good as Neeraj. But as it turns out, Kishore Jena has not only managed to make a mark for himself, has qualified for the Olympics 2024 along with Neeraj, and is an underdog to get a medal for the country.

All You Need to Know About Kishore Jena

Till about a year ago, Jena was a relatively unknown commodity in the world of javelin, even in India. But now, he is ranked seventh in the world, and has a PB of 87.54m, that he set in Asian Games 2023, where he claimed the silver medal. But the road until his rise, had been challenging to say the least.

Born to paddy farmers in Puri district of Odisha, it’s only fair to say that he wasn’t raised in the most conducive environment to raise champions. With meagre resources, the parents had a challenge of raising seven kids. To support his family financially, Jena dreamt of joining the Indian Army.

As a kid, his first sport of preference wasn’t javelin also — in fact it was volleyball. But it was due to his height, it became difficult for him to continue. Finally, he was introduced to javelin by coach Laxman Baral. His first javelin cost only INR 250, that was made of bamboo.

Jena’s Later Career

To improve exponentially, he needed a javelin worth INR 28,000, and it was once again a challenge for his folks to arrange for the same. His father raised money from various women associations, and finally got him the required equipment. The challenges did not stop there, as in 2022 he contemplated leaving the sport altogether, but a phone call from his dad revived his career. Hopefully, Kishore Jena can produce a medal for India.

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