India's Sumit Antil produced a dominant performance in the men's F64 javelin throw event at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Monday. With a massive throw of 68.55m, Sumit created a world record and clinched a memorable gold medal at the Summer Paralympic Games.
Commenting on his gold medal, the 23-year-old said: "It is a dream come true. I can't express my feelings right now."
Elated, Sumit outlined his future plans, saying, "One thing is for sure in future I will throw much better."
Even though he broke the world record, Sumit was not satisfied with his performance. He said, "This is my first Paralympics and I was a little nervous because the competitors are great. I was hoping for a 70-metre-plus throw, maybe I can do 75m. It was not my best, I am very happy to break the world record."
Before shifting his focus to javelin, he was a wrestler. However, a 2015 accident brought his wrestling career to a halt.
"I met with an accident and had my leg amputated. After that, life changed. I went to the stadium just to meet people in 2015, and I saw para athletes. They said, 'You have good height and posture, maybe you can be in the next Paralympics'. Who knew I would be the next champion?" he said.
Before his commanding show at the Paralympics, within a span of 20 days, Sumit broke the world record twice in the F-64 category.
In his sixth and last attempt, he hurled the javelin to a distance of 66.90 metres at the 19th Para-Athletics Championships at Bengaluru in March.
The effort bettered his own world record of 66.43 metres, set during the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix on March 5 in Patiala. Both these efforts were, however, not recorded for world records.
On how much further he can throw, he said, "In training, I have thrown 71m, 72m, many times. I don't know what happened in my competition.
The F64 category is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.