Tokyo Paralympics: Sumit Antil wins second gold medal for India
Javelin thrower Sumit Antil has clinched a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. He broke the world record in the men's Javelin F64 category with a throw of 68.55m. Meanwhile, Sandeep Chaudhary finished fourth with a best throw of 62.20m. Earlier in the day, Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win gold at the Paralympics. Here are further details.
Sumit gained a massive lead with a throw of 66.95m in his very first attempt in the final. He recorded an even better throw in his second attempt, clocking 68.08m. His third attempt was the shortest (65.27m). Interestingly, Sumit bettered his record in his fifth attempt (68.55 m). Australia's Michal Burian won the silver medal while Dulan Kodithuwakku (Sri Lanka) came third.
#SumitAntil is the Champion, World Record Holder, #Tokyo2020 #Paralympics 🥇 #Gold Medallist #Javelin @ParaAthletics— Paralympic India 🇮🇳 #Cheer4India 🏅 #Praise4Para (@ParalympicIndia) August 30, 2021
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Sumit has become the fifth Indian athlete to win a gold medal at Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016), and shooter Avani Lekhara (2020). During the final, Sumit broke his previous world record (62.88m) thrice. He went past his first attempt of 66.95m twice (68.08m and 68.55m).
A fatal accident in 2005 resulted in Sumit's left leg being amputated. He competed in able-bodied wrestling until 2015 before he took a three-year break. He took up para-athletics in 2018. Sumit then met Naval Singh, a prominent javelin coach. He urged Sumit to become a javelin thrower. In 2019, he secured a silver medal for India at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Sumit competed against Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra in the able-bodied Indian Grand Prix series 3 on March 5 in Patiala. The former finished seventh with a best throw of 66.43m while Chopra shattered his own national record by clocking 88.07m.
Sumit has extended India's tally of medals at the Tokyo Paralympics to seven. This is India's best tally at a single Paralympic edition. Earlier in the day, Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold. Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gujar won silver and bronze medals respectively in the men's javelin throw - F46 final.