Maharastra’s specially-abled sprinter Dilip Gavit finished in the top five competing in the U20 boys’ group at the third National Open 400m Championships. Gavit, who lost his right arm owing to gangrene at the age of three, competes with able-bodied athletes. The 19-year-old clocked 49.85s to finish fifth in the final.
Gavit had clocked 49.89 seconds to finish second in his heats to advance to the final. The Maharastra sprinter uses a small stand to support his amputated hand during takeoff from the starting blocks. Gavit’s coach-cum-guardian Vaijanth Dayanand Kale identified his sprinting prowess back in 2015 and selected him for his Nasik-based sports foundation.
“Dilip Gavit has the ability to run 400m below 49 seconds,” coach Vaijanth Dayanand Kale
Dilip Gavit had won the bronze medal for Maharastra in the 4×100 m relay at the 2019 Khelo India Youth Games in Pune. Coach Kale shares that competing with able-bodied athletes is the best way to prepare the young sprinter for the para events. The coach has also legally adopted Dilip Gavit.
“We made the stand as per the rule book so that Dilip Gavit feels comfortable during a crouch start mandatory in sprint events like 400m,” said the coach. “I want Dilip Gavit to regularly compete with able body athletes so that he becomes mentally strong and can give his best when he competes during para events,”
Dilip’s timing of 49,85 in the final puts him in the top six in the T47 category of the recently concluded Tokyo Paralympics. The budding sprinter is yet to compete in Para events as his classification is pending due to the pandemic. But this tremendous performance at the National Championship will serve as the perfect stepping stone with the 2022 Asian Para Games coming up.
“Dilip Gavit was supposed to go to Paris for his classification event before the Tokyo Paralympic Games but couldn’t get visa due to pandemic,” added the coach.