Two-time gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia won a record third Paralympic medal, a silver in men’s javelin throw F46, while Sundar Singh Gurjar won bronze continuing India’s strong run in athletics at the Tokyo Paralympics on Monday.
With this, India easily surpassed their best ever medal tally at the Games with four medals coming only on Monday, which matched the tally from Rio 2016. While Vinod Kumar’s bronze in discus throw is under review, including that officially India’s count is at seven medals and counting.
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The 40-year-old Jhajahria, already India’s greatest Paralympian after winning gold medals at Athens 2004 and Rio 2016, pulled off a new personal best throw of 64.35m for the silver. He bettered his own earlier world record (63.97m) but gold winner Sri Lankan Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage (67.79m), had broken the world record a while earlier. That throw was too good for the entire field.
The 25-year-old Gurjar, who lost his left hand in 2015 after a metal sheet fell on him at his friend’s house, was third with a best effort of 64.01m.
The Jaipur-based Gurjar had won gold in the 2017 and 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. He had also won a silver in the 2018 Jakarta Para Asian Games. He had heartbreak in Rio as he missed the event due to a failure to report on time, but he made up for it with a medal in his first official appearance.
Ajeet Singh, the third Indian in the fray, finished eighth out of nine competitors.
Earlier in the day, Yogesh Kathuniya won silver in the men’s discus throw F56 event (seated) while Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics.
More to follow