Indian para-athlete Anandan Gunasekaran opened India’s account by bagging two gold medals in the men’s 100m and 400m IT1 events at 7th CISM Military World Games in Wuhan, China on October 22. The Military World Games is a multi-sport event for military sportspeople, organized by the International Military Sports Council (CISM).
The blade runner from Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu won the 100m event in 12 seconds, beating Peru’s Casas Jose, who completed the race in 12.65 seconds. The bronze medal went to Colombia’s Fajardo Pardo who reached the finish line in 12.72 seconds.
Gunasekaran won the second gold medal in the men’s 400m IT1 event with a timing of 53.35 seconds. He grabbed the first spot with a considerable margin. The second in the 400m event was held by Colombia’s Teodielo (58.95) while Ranchin Mickael managed to take the third spot with (1:00.31 s)
Who Is Anandan Gunasekaran?
Gunasekaran, who is a subedar with the Indian army, lost his left leg when an active mine blew off during his routine search at the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir ‘s Kupwara district in 2018.
For months he could not tell his parent about his leg. When he went home for the first time after the accident with a wooden leg, his family members broke down. “I could have chosen to sulk over my situation, but I decided to turn things around,” Gunasekaran told The Times Of India after his win.
His journey as an athlete started at the Mumbai marathon, four years after the accident. In his first marathon, he ran with a wooden leg. However, he was later apprised about prosthetic legs. Anandan’s inspiration is South Africa’s para-athlete Oscar Pistorius, who ran with two prosthetic limbs.
Since then, Gunasekaran has represented India at many international events and have improved his performance subsequently. Three years after the Mumbai marathon, in 2015 he won 200m gold at the World Military Games in South Korea. He also won 400m gold in 2016 at Asia Oceania championships. He scooped silver in the 400m event of World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai. Last year, he won silver and bronze in the 400m and 200m events respectively. Gunasekaran’s aims to compete against able-bodied athletes in future.