Indian para-athletes — shooter Avani Lekhara (gold), javelin throwers Sumit Antil (gold), Devendra Jhajharia (silver), Sundar Singh Gurjar (bronze) and discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya (silver) — performed exceptionally well and clinched medals for the country at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.
Five medals on Monday took India’s medal count at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to 10 — their best-ever haul at a single Paralympics. India had won four medals at the Rio 2016 Games, their previous best.
India completed their Day 8 campaign Tuesday at the Paralympics with 2 more medals coming from the athletics quartet. The magical duo of Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar stepped up and won silver and bronze in the men’s T42 category.
23-year-old Sumit Antil threw a new world record of 68.55m to clinch the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw (F64) event.
During the final, he broke the world record thrice.
India’s para shooter Singhraj Adhana secured a bronze medal in men’s 10m air pistol (SH1) event. Adhana finished with a total of 216.8 points in the final of the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday. This is India’s 8th medal at Tokyo 2020 and second medal in shooting after Avani Lekhara’s gold medal.
The 19-year-old Avani scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win Paralympics gold at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s 10m air rifle shooting SH1 class event.
The world No 5 Avani shot a score of 249.6 in the final – creating a new Paralympics record and also equaling the world record – on her Games debut.
It was India’s first Paralympics medal in shooting and Lekhara is the fourth Indian to win a Paralympic gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004, 2016) and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).
Avani will next compete in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, the mixed 10m air rifle SH1 and mixed 10m rifle prone SH1 events at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Meanwhile, Devendra Jhajaria became India’s most decorated Paralympian after he took silver in the men’s javelin throw F46 category.
Jhajaria – a two-time Paralympic champion – had the best throw of 64.35m in the final. It was a new personal best, shattering his own previous world and Paralympic record of 63.97m.
Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Herath won the gold with the best throw of 67.79m, making a new world record in the process.
The silver medal was Devendra Jhajharia’s third Paralympic medal – tying him for most Paralympic medals by a single Indian athlete alongside Joginder Singh Bedi – who won two bronze and one silver medal at the 1984 Paralympics.
Sundar Singh Gurjar won the bronze medal in the men’s F46 javelin throw with a best attempt of 64.01m, which was his best of the season.
It was the first Paralympic medal for Sundar Singh Gurjar, who is a two-time javelin throw world champion.
In the men’s discus throw F56 category, Yogesh Kathuniya won silver for India with the best attempt of 44.38m.
On Sunday, India had won two medals with star paddler Bhavinaben Patel bagging a silver in women’s singles table tennis class 4. while Nishad Kumar earned the country its second medal by winning silver in the T47 event.