Devendra Jhajharia breaks own world record to win javelin throw gold

Devendra Jhajharia secured India's second gold medal at Rio Paralympics with a world record throw of 63.97m in javelin throw F46 event on Tuesday.

Devendra Jhajharia poses next to the scoreboard that shows his world record in the men's javelin throw F46 athletics event at the Paralympic Games.   -  AP

Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch two gold medals at the Paralympics after he broke his own world record to clinch the top honours at the ongoing Rio Games here. The 36-year-old, who won his previous gold in the 2004 Athens Games, bettered his own world record to finish on top in the men's F46 event. Devendra, whose previous best was 62.15 metres (achieved in the 2004 Games), improved the mark with an attempt of 63.97 metres at the Olympic Stadium (Engenhao).

Sports Minister Vijay Goel today congratulated Jhajharia on his outstanding feat of winning the Gold medal in men’s javelin throw F46 event at the ongoing Rio Paralympics. In a message Goel said bettering his own world record to win gold in the Games shows exemplary dedication and determination of Devendra Jhajharia and his win will inspire all especially the young generation of the country.

The Rajasthan born athlete had lost his left hand when he was electrocuted while climbing a tree as an eight-year-old. But he continued to follow his dream and went on to achieve the Arjuna award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2012, becoming the first Paralympian to receive the honour.

Devendra, who won the gold at the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Lyon in 2013, last participated in the Paralympics 12 years ago as the F46 event did not feature in the 2008 and the 2012 editions.

Currently ranked third in the world, Devendra swelled India's medal tally at Rio to four medals - two golds, one silver and a bronze. Thangavelu Mariyappan had earlier struck gold in the men's high jump, while Varun Bhati had secured a bronze in the same event. Later, Deepa Malik won a silver in the women's shot put event to add to the tally.

Another Indian Rinku Hooda, who also competed in the event, finished fifth with a personal best of 54.39 metres in six attempts, while Sundar Singh Gurjar didn't start the event. The 20-year-old Sundar came into the limelight earlier this year when he registered the 'A' qualification mark for the 2016 Rio Paralympics with a performance of 59.36m in 8th Fazza IPC Athletics Grand Prix, Dubai. He was one of the favourites to win a gold for India at the Rio Paralympics.