Tokyo Paralympic Games bronze medalist Sharad Kumar is closely following developments related to the Russian military operation in Ukraine as he worries about the safety of his coach Nikitin Yevhen there.
Yevhen is based in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and approximately 500 km from the capital Kiev.
“I just spoke to my trainer in Ukraine Kharkiv, he is worried he can hear shelling from his room, he is considering moving to his underground garage,” Kumar tweeted.
Kumar had trained in Kharkiv under Yevhen for more than four years before winning a bronze medal in the high jump at the Tokyo Paralympics last year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday the launch of a military operation in eastern Ukraine.
Yevhen was previously in India as a coach for the Sports Authority of India.
Kumar, who is from Bihar and suffered paralysis in his left leg due to fake polio drugs during a local eradication campaign, is a two-time Asian Para Games high jump champion ( 2014 and 2018) and world silver medalist (2019).
Repeated calls from PTI, after his tweet, went unanswered, but he spoke to ESPN and revealed he heard Yevhen’s wife crying while talking to him.
”His wife was crying on the phone and they were moving into hiding. I called other friends in Kharkiv, they are all scared too. I just feel terrible and helpless,’ he told the website.
The 29-year-old not only trained in Ukraine, he also studied international business management at the Polytechnic Institute in Kharkiv and expressed his fondness for the country.
He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
”Even when I was in Ukraine, I heard about military conflict. Of course, not on the current scale. But it was kind of still boiling,’ he recalled speaking to the website. Last year in September, Kumar was diagnosed with heart inflammation and had to be admitted to AIIMS here for a few days after complaining of chest congestion.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)