Javelin thrower Sumit Antil, on Monday, created a world record in men's F64 category event to win the elusive gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. En route to the yellow metal, he broke the world record five times. It was his throw of 68.55m in his fifth attempt that got him the medal in his Paralympic Games debut.
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The 23-year-old from Sonepat in Haryana lost his left leg below the knee after he was involved in a motorbike accident in 2015. In the final, he bettered the previous world record of 62.88m, also set by him, five times on the day. His last throw was a foul. His series read 66.95, 68.08, 65.27, 66.71, 68.55 and foul.
Australian Michal Burian (66.29m) and Sri Lanka's Dulan Kodithuwakku (65.61m) took the silver and bronze, respectively.
The F64 category is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.
A student of Delhi's Ramjas College, Antil was an able-bodied wrestler before his accident which led to the amputation of his leg below the knee. A para athlete in his village initiated him to the sport in 2018.
He also competed against Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra in the able-bodied Indian Grand Prix series 3 on March 5 in Patiala.
He finished seventh with a best throw of 66.43m while Chopra shattered his own national record with a big effort of 88.07m.
He won a silver in the F64 javelin throw at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai.
Shooter Avani Lekhara had claimed the women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event gold in the morning.
In the other javelin throw event, India's Devendra Jhajharia, who was eyeing a third gold medal at the Paralympic Games, could not duplicate his 2016 effort and brought home a silver medal. In the same event, Sundar Singh Gurjar also took home a bronze medal in the men's javelin throw F46 final.
"In sport and competition, these kind of things happen. There are always ups and downs. I did my best and bettered my personal best. But it so happened that it was his (Sri Lankan's) day," Jhajharia told PTI after winning silver.