India’s Sumit Antil clinched gold in the men’s javelin F64 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with a new World record throw of 68.55m. The 23-year-old smashed the world record not once, not twice, but thrice during the final at the Olympic Stadium.
Antil clinched India’s second gold at the ongoing Paralympics, and that too on his debut performance on Monday.
The 23-year-old from Sonepat in Haryana, who lost his left leg below the knee after he was involved in a motorbike accident in 2015, sent the spear to 68.55m in his fifth attempt, which was the best of the day by quite a distance and a new world record.
In fact, Sumit had participated in able-bodied javelin throw till 2015 before taking a break.
Antil was in the zone straight away as he threw 66.95m in his first attempt to set the new World record, before bettering it with his second throw and again in his fifth attempt to set a new milestone of 68.55m.
“Don’t be surprised to see me at Paris 2024 taking part in both Olympic and Paralympics. That’s my dream,” Sumit told the Paralympics website after the historic performance.
“I’m confident of throwing between 75 to 80m and that should be enough to compete amongst the able-bodied athletes. I will be trying to do that for sure and then build my confidence,” said the 23-year-old.
The conditions were extremely hot and humid but Antil never looked in any sort of bother. He attributed the success to the hours of training he put in ahead of the Games.
“During the pandemic, everything was shut and I took special permission from the Sports Authority of India to train.I prepared for all conditions – hot, wet and even trained late nights. The preparations was really good,” said Antil, hoping that his success will land him a job soon.
“Currently, I’m unemployed and doing training full time but I hope I will get a job after this. Let’s see what happens when I return to India”
He won’t have to wait as it was announced that the Haryana Government will give a cash reward of ₹6 crore as a govt job.
India won five medals on Monday to take their tally at the Tokyo 2020 to seven — two gold, four silver, and one bronze and leapfrogged to 26th position in the medal table.
The five medals on Monday took India’s total medal count from the Paralympic Games to 19.
(With inputs from Agencies)