Anurag Thakur, Minister of Sports in the Indian Government had felicitated the just-returned Tokyo Paralympic medal winners of the country which includes javelin throwers Sumit Antil and Devendra Jhajharia.
Our Champions are back home 🇮🇳!
Wonderful speaking to everyone about their personal journey, inspiration & plans ahead! https://t.co/NtIp9BCAkN
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) September 3, 2021
Anurag Thakur hoped that the javelin becomes as popular as cricket in the country. After Neeraj Chopra won the solitary historic gold medal for the country in Javelin at the Olympics, para-athletes Antil, Jhajharia and Sunder Singh Gurjar too won medals in the same sport under different classifications at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Paralympic Games debutant Sumit Antil performed exceptionally well to secure a gold medal in the Javelin F64 event. He broke the world record three times to earn that medal.
Veteran Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia who won gold medals in the Athens and Rio Paralympics had also won silver this time in the F46 category. Gurjar performed in the same event and achieved a bronze medal, behind his compatriot Devendra Jhajharia.
Thakur who was also the former BCCI president and is known for his “speeches” said that that he hopes that a javelin will become as famous as a cricket bat in India. Other para-athletes present during the occasion were F56 Discus throw silver medallist Yogesh Kathuniya and T63 High Jump bronze medal winner Sharad Kumar.
Thakur promised “support” for all the athletes from the Narendra Modi-led Central Government. He continued by saying that India clinched medals on National Sports Day which was a tribute to hockey legend, Dhyanchand and added by saying that it has been the hard work of the athletes plus the support given by the government to the sports federations and athletes along with that the encouragement of the Prime Minister was a driving force.
The Minister pledged further support to the athletes through improving the sports ecosystem in the country and schemes like TOPS and this will take place in an unprecedented way.