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Polish thrower ends 16 years of hurt

AAP logoAAP 9/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

It may not be the gold medal he was denied 16 years ago, but in winning silver Polish Paralympian Robert Jachimowicz believes justice has finally been served.

The discuss thrower came second in the F52 event in Rio, ending years of frustration that began when he was controversially disqualified in Sydney 2000 after finishing first with what would have been a world record throw.

"Justice won at last," said Jachimowicz.

"I am not able to smile now. I can only cry just thinking about all those years of sacrifices, and now suddenly it all makes sense."

A dispute over his classification in Sydney resulted in his disqualification and afterwards Jachimowicz withdrew from competitions in his chosen category until he was eventually classified as F52 in 2013.

"As soon as I watched the discus throw event at any Paralympic Games, all the bad memories came back and I just couldn't stand that," he said.

"I wanted to go back to competitions so bad."

It took Jachimowicz two years to reach the podium in an international event, coming second at the Doha 2015 world championships.

Then the 49-year-old won the European title in June before making his Paralympic comeback.

"I want to dedicate this medal to my family, my wife and my sons," he said.

"This medal gives me strength. Now I see the meaning of life and all the suffering I've been through for 13 years."

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