Indian Paralympics medallists return home to a grand welcome
- Javelin thrower Sumit Antil won a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics
- Devendra Jhajharia, Yogesh Kathuniya and Sharad Kumar were also given a warm welcome
- The athletes were welcomed enthusiastically by SAI officials
Indian para athletes, on Friday, returned home to a grand welcome. Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, as fans and media people jostled to catch a glimpse of the para-athletes.
Four para-athletes, including javelin throw gold medallist Sumit Antil, returned home. Apart from Sumit, three-time Paralympics medallist javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya and high jumper Sharad Kumar were also given a warm welcome.
Jhajharia won a silver in javelin throw, Yogesh clinched silver in discus throw and Sharad Kumar took home the bronze in the high jump.
"Our Champions are back home and is overjoyed at their arrival. Love & wishes are pouring in for @sumit_javelin @DevJhajharia @YogeshKathuniya @sharad_kumar01," Sports Authority of India (SAI) wrote in a tweet.
The four athletes were welcomed enthusiastically by SAI officials, who garlanded them and presented them with bouquets on arrival.
The athletes, displaying their medals, posed for photographs inside the airport even as fans waved the tricolour and played drums to celebrate their medal-winning feats outside.
Supporters, many of them without masks, looked to outpace each other in garlanding the four athletes as they walked out of the airport even as media persons battled to get reactions from the heroes.
Sumit, 23, had smashed his world record five times for the F64 class gold, while Jhajharia, a two-time gold medallist, cemented his status of being India's greatest para-athlete with an F46 category silver.
Kathuniya won a discus throw silver in F56 class, while Sharad claimed a T42 high jump bronze.
India's medal tally at the Games has soared to an unprecedented 12 already, including two gold medals - Avani Lekhara and Sumit Antil.
As for Avani, she became the first Indian woman to get two medals - gold and bronze - at the Paralympics.
This is the first time that the country has hit the double-digit mark at the showpiece.
Paddler Bhavina Patel opened India's medal tally at the Tokyo Paralympics and also became the first Indian paddler to win a medal in table tennis.