A certain popular, parental bull-headedness drives our schoolboys into cricket academies which engender dreams of Indian Premier League millions, if not a berth in the international game.
On Monday, Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha, declared a prize of Rs 25 lakh for Kishore Jena, a javelin sensation, who made history by being the first individual from the region to represent India in the finals of the World Athletics Championship held in Budapest. Kishore secured the fifth position in the ultimate round that took place on Sunday. He also attained a fresh personal record by achieving a distance of 84.77 meters.
Patnaik expressed that Kishore’s incredible journey and outstanding performance at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest have not only brought honour to both the state and the country but will also serve as a motivation for numerous athletes in the years ahead.
Who is Kishore Jena?
Hailing from Kothasahi village in Odisha, Kishore Jena came into the world on September 6, 1995, and holds his permanent residency in the Brahmagiri Block of Puri. He specializes in javelin throw, representing India in the realm of track and field sports.
Kishore Jena, a trainee at the Bhubaneshwar Sports Hostel and beneficiary of the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, initially pursued volleyball before his coach recognized his potential in javelin throw and encouraged him to transition.
At the age of 27, he gained prominence in June 2023 by securing the silver medal at the national championships held in Bhubaneshwar.
On July 30, Kishore Jena achieved a remarkable feat by claiming the gold medal at the Sri Lankan National Championships, achieving a personal best distance of 84.38 meters. This outstanding performance enabled him to secure his spot in the World Athletics Championship through the world ranking quota.
Indeed, his entry into the event was secured as he clinched the 36th spot on the Road to Budapest ranking list, a compilation regularly updated by World Athletics (WA) subsequent to the conclusion of the qualification phase on July 30.
However, a new challenge arose when the prospect of participating in the World Athletics Championship in Budapest was jeopardized. This obstacle emerged due to the Hungarian embassy in India annulling Jena’s visa application.
What happened in the tournament?
Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic gold medalist in javelin throw, along with fellow contenders, extended their support and employed social media platforms to appeal to the Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, urging for a resolution.
Ultimately, a solution materialized, leading to Kishore Jena’s momentous debut and his pivotal role in creating history. Notably, he became the first athlete from Odisha to successfully secure a spot in the finals of the World Athletics Championships.
“I initially felt nervous considering the magnitude of the event. However, I’ve now gained confidence, and I’m all set to perform exceptionally,” Jena expressed.
“The sensation of this achievement is truly remarkable, especially when reflecting on the fact that three Indian athletes will be vying in the finals of a single event. Such a scenario would have seemed implausible not long ago,” Jena remarked.
Kishore’s mother further conveyed her unwavering faith in Lord Jagannath. With divine blessings, she firmly believes her son will bring honour to the nation.
“Divine blessings will pave his path to success, ultimately leading him to elevate the prestige of our country,” she affirmed.