Sumit Antil is an Indian javelin thrower and made India proud in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. With a massive throw of 68.55, he not only broke the world record but also clinched the elusive yellow metal. The 22-year-old athlete from Haryana is the second Indian para-athlete javelin thrower to bring home the gold medal. The first being Devendra Jhajharia.
He had qualified for the Paralympic Games during the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships where he took home the silver medal. Before showing his skills on the global stage, Antil broke his own javelin throw world record in the F44 category with an effort of 66.90m to claim the gold medal during the National Para Athletics Championship.
The 22-year-old Antil bettered his own record of 66.43m which he had recorded during the Indian Grand Prix organised by the Athletics Federation of India at Patiala. He had competed with able-bodied athletes in that event.
Antil was 17-year-old when his dream of becoming a wrestler came to a screeching halt. He met with an accident in 2015 as a tractor ran over his leg.
In an interview with the Times of India, Sumit said: "...when I met with a road accident in 2015, my wrestling journey ended on a terrible note. I was riding my bike and a tractor hit my bike from behind. I slipped on the road and then the tractor driver failed to apply the brakes on time and ran over my left leg."
He said that his leg was horribly crushed and had to be amputated. But it was not the end for him. He still wanted to pursue his dreams in sports. He was put in touch with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) javelin coach Naval Singh at Delhi Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium. This is where his javelin-throwing dream started.
"When I saw Sumit for the first time I had to motivate him a lot. He wanted to be a wrestler, but that career path wasn't possible then. Sumit has good height and physique. He was 6'2 and had a good build. I knew if I worked on him, he could do wonders," TimesofIndia.com quoted Naval as saying.