Sundar defends World title as India secures three Paralympic Games quotas

Sundar Singh Gurjar's secured a Tokyo Paralympics quota with a winning throw of 61.22m in the F46 javelin event of the World Para Athletics Championships.

Sundar Singh Gurjar is the third athlete secure a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games quota after Ajeet Singh and Rinku.   -  REUTERS

Sundar Singh Gurjar overcame a shoulder injury to defend his World Para Athletics Championships title in the men’s F46 javelin throw event while also securing Tokyo Paralympic Games quota, along with the bronze winner Ajeet Singh and Rinku.

Gurjar came up with his season’s best effort of 61.22m to claim the top spot. Singh sent the spear to a distance of 59.46m to clinch the bronze while Rinku finished fourth.

“I am very happy. It was a relief. I came into this Championships with no training for the last one month. I got the injury in my training and so had to tap my shoulder today. When I was training, I felt the pain. But I was lucky at the finals, I didn’t feel it. I felt my body was well rested. It was a blessing in disguise,” Gurjar told Paralympic Committee of India.

“In my last attempt, I knew that I got it there. But never realized that it will be my season best. It was a good leap. This will motivate me to go for a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” he added.

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.

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Yogesh Kathuniya then added a silver for India in men’s discus throw F56 event with a best throw of 42.05m.

The 23-year-old Gurjar not only defended his London Worlds 2017 title but also became the only second Indian to have clinched two World Championships medals after Devendra Jhajharia’s gold and silver in 2013 Lyon and 2015 Doha Championships.

Staying in the second place till his fifth attempt, Gurjar hurled the javelin to a distance of 61.22 metres in his sixth attempt, enough to jump to the top of the results table ahead of Sri Lanka’s Dinesh P Herath Mudiyanselage, who was leading till then with his first attempt throw of 60.59m.

The F46 category athletes have a single below or above the elbow amputation.

“Indian javelin throwers have always brought laurels to India. Today once again our players showed that they will be the ones to beat at Tokyo 2020. This also shows that we are in the right track,” said Gursharan Singh, interim president of Paralympic Committee of India.

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

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