Promising discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya won a bronze medal and a 2020 Tokyo Paralympics quota in men’s discus throw F56 event.

Despite his three four throws in the final, Kathuniya did not give up hope and finished third at the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships.

Moments later, Praveen Kumar joined him with a fourth-place finish in the men’s high jump T64 final last evening. He attained a personal best clearing the bar at 1.92 metres.

Under International Paralympic Committee rules, the top four ranked athletes at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in each of the individual medal events on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Programme (excluding Marathon) will each obtain one qualification slot for their respective country.

“After the first three fouls, I threw the next three easy,” Kathuniya said. “There was no pressure on me. I just wanted to make a mark in my first World Championships and finally, I did it.”

“It was my first major Championships and a big learning experience here. And when I go back, I will work on my technique with my coach,” said Kathuniya, who trains under Naval Singh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.

The 23-year old hurled the discus to a distance of 42.51 metres in his sixth attempt to take the bronze. For most part of the game, he stayed in the second place behind eventual winner Brazilian Claudiney Batista dos Santos (45.92m) but Iran’s Ali Mohammadyari managed just one right attempt – a 43.51 metres – to take the silver.

In fact, there was a protest from the Iranian after he was disqualified by the jury.

Kathuniya, a student of the Kirorimal College of Delhi University, now eagerly looks forward to get home in Bahadurgarh, Haryana.

“My parents will be really proud that I have qualified for the Paralympics. It’s a big thing for them. Now my focus is to start training for Tokyo 2020,” he added.

India now has two gold, one silver and two bronze from this Championships.