Praveen Kumar is an Indian para high jumper who represented India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and won a silver medal setting a new Asian record of 2.07m in the high jump sports event. He is the youngest Indian to win a medal at the Paralympics.
Praveen Kumar was born on Thursday, 15 May 2003 (age 18 years; as of 2021) in Jewar village of Gautam Buddha Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh and raised in Noida, India. His zodiac sign is Taurus. Praveen Kumar was born with a congenital impairment that affected his bones that connect his hip to his left leg. Praveen Kumar attended a local school in Noida, India for his primary and secondary education. Later, he enrolled himself at the Motilal Nehru College in Delhi to earn a bachelor’s degree in arts. Despite having a congenital impairment, Praveen used to actively participate in various sports events held in his school.
Height: 5′ 5″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Praveen Kumar belongs to a poor family in Uttar Pradesh, India. He was born to Amarpal Kumar and Nirdosh Devi. Both of his parents are small scale farmers.
Praveen Kumar was fond of sports since childhood. Letting behind his congenital impairment, Praveen participated in several school and district level sports events. Initially, he started with playing volleyball professionally. Talking about his skills, Praveen’s classmate Sumit, said,
No one is even half as good as him in volleyball. Khade khade humare upar se kood jata tha (He would leap over us with ease). There wasn’t a sport that he wasn’t great at. Cricket, volleyball, kabaddi… He was and is the best among us.”
The moment that made Praveen’s father, Amarpal Kumar, realise the abilities of his son was when Praveen competed at a school-level high jump competition in an open category event and won a gold medal at the event; Afterwhich, Amarpal tried his best to get a hold of coach Dr Satyapal Singh, a well-known name in the athletics circuit. In 2018, Praveen Kumar began with professional training under the mentorship of Satyapal Singh. The biggest challenge according to Satyapal Singh as a coach was to change Praveen’s jumping style technique from straddle technique to Fosbury Flop technique, which is majorly used by international athletes. Praveen Kumar made his international debut in 2019 at the Junior Para World Championship, where he bagged a silver medal in the final event; In the same year, Praveen participated in the 2019 Senior Para Athletics World Championships where he ended up at the fourth position. 2021 proved to be a glorious year for Praveen Kumar. Firstly, he got the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Para-Athletics Grand Prix competitions held in Dubai where he won a gold medal for the first time in his international career. Next, Praveen represented India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and won the silver medal in the men’s high jump T64/T44 event, setting a new Asian record of 2.07m. Praveen was going through a lot of pressure before the final event. Explaining about the experience he had before setting a new Asian record, Praveen said,
I was a bit low in confidence when I cleared 1.97m in my second attempt but I regained confidence after jumping 2.01m. I told myself I will give my best whatever it takes, whether rain or not.”
He further added,
There was pressure while trying to jump 2.10m. In the final attempt, I just thought of doing my best and it was a very good attempt but there were some problems in my landing and so I could not clear it.”
Praveen Kumar after winning the silver medal received congratulatory messages from all across the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Praveen Kumar for his fabulous victory and also wished him for an endeavours future.
- 2021: Para-Athletics Grand Prix (Dubai)
- 2019: Junior para world championship
- 2021: Tokyo Paralympic Games
- While seeking admission to Motilal Nehru College affiliated with Delhi University, Praveen Kumar was denied a spot in the sports trials because of congenital impairment. The authorities of the admission council advised Praveen Kumar and his coach, Dr Satyapal Singh, to register him under the differently-abled quota in order to get a smoother path for his admission. Dr Satyapal Singh disagreed with the thought and made every possible effort for Praveen’s admission. Talking about the process, Satyapal said,
I made calls to top officials in the university and requested to at least allow Praveen to take part in the trials. They reluctantly agreed.”