Veteran javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia won his third medal in the Paralympics, silver this time around. Discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya also finished with a silver medal as India had a bright start to today’s proceedings of the Tokyo Paralympics. Sundar Singh Gurjar clinched a bronze medal and ended up behind Jhajharia in the F46 Javelin throw event.
As has been repeated elsewhere, Paralympic events are categorized by the disabilities the para-athlete has to provide an equal footing to all of them. The F46 events are for those para-athletes who have arm deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in their arms with them competing in a standing position.
Jhajharia has won two gold medals in the 2004 and 2016 editions of these Games. He broke his record of 63.97 metres but it was bettered by Sri Lankan Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage (67.79m) who set a new world record and won the gold medal. Jhajharia lost his left arm when he touched an electric wire while climbing a tree at the age of eight.
Gurjar who lost his left arm when a metal sheet fell on him in his house clinched the bronze with his effort of 64.01 metres. The 25-year-old Jaipur based para-athlete won gold for F46 Javelin in the 2017 and 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. He, also, won silver in the 2018 Para Asian Games in Jakarta.
Earlier, Kathuniya also won a silver medal in the men’s F56 Discus Throw. He threw the disc a distance of 44.38 metres in his sixth and last attempt. Avani Lekhara won India’s first gold medal in the Tokyo Games in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event. India has already won seven medals in this event which has surpassed the count of 4 medals the country managed to achieve in 2016 with India winning three medals yesterday.