Indian Para Athlete of Madras Engineering Group & Centre, Subedar Anandan Gunasekaran, clinched three gold medals in the seventh World Military Games 2019 here.
Gunasekaran won one gold medal each in three events — 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters events.
He also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after winning a gold medal in 200 meters event in recently conducted Handisport Open Paris 2019.
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 on June 4, 2008, which resulted in amputation below left knee and undergone surgery at ALC, Pune on July 3 of the same year.
His journey as an athlete started at the Mumbai marathon, in 2012 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.
In the Sri Lanka Army Para Games at Colombo in 2015, Indian Army and Paralympic Committee of India had sponsored Gunasekaran. He did not disappoint and won a silver in 100m event and gold in the 200m event.
Gunasekaran is the first Indian Para Athlete in T-44 category to win a medal for the Army in the World Para Military Games and break the Asian record.
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 in October, he took part in the Para Asian Games and bagged a silver medal in 400 meters and bronze in 200m event.
Gunasekaran’s aims to compete against able-bodied athletes in future.