Monday turned out to be a momentous day for the Indian para athletes.
India had a slow start at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. The country opened their account on Sunday and following that, there was no looking back for the Indian participants. After a productive Sunday, the para-athletes followed suit on Monday as well.
The day began with by para shooter Avani Lekhara who struck the gold medal. Lekhara, who was inspired by Abhinav Bindra’s biopic became an inspiration for the entire nation. Minutes later, Yogesh Kathuniya bagged the silver medal in the men’s discuss throw. Success followed in several javelin throw classifications. All in all, it was an exceptional day for India at the Paralympics.
Let’s take a look at how Monday turned out to be another memorable day for the Indian Paralympians.
All hopes were pinned on 19-year-old shooter Avani Lekhara and she delivered in style. She equalled the world record of 249.6 points and clinched the gold medal.
She became the first-ever Indian woman to win the gold medal at the Paralympics. Lekhara had simply set the stage for the other para-athletes to showcase their talents on the big day.
Later in the day, para shooter Mahavir Swaroop Unhalkar fought valiantly and managed a fourth-place finish in the men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1. He was leading the proceedings at one point but two poor shots in the sixth series took away his chance for a podium finish at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Deepak Saini was also present at the same event who finished 20th in the qualification rounds and failed to make it to the finals.
Minutes after Lekhara’s gold medal, discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya confirmed his silver medal. The 24-year-old from Delhi registered the best distance of 44.38m in his sixth and final attempt to clinch the silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.
It was a sensational achievement for Kathuniya as he won the silver medal without a coach and will be hoping to change the colour of the medal in Paris 2024.
One of the best Indian athletes at Tokyo Paralympics 2020, Devendra Jhajaria won the silver medal in the men’s javelin throw – F46 final event with a distance of 64.35m.
It was Jhajaria’s moment to savour as he bagged his third Paralympics medal after 2004 in Athens, 2016 in Rio and now at the Tokyo Paralympics.
While he claimed the Silver medal, Sundar Singh Gurjar bagged the bronze with a best throw of 64.05m. Both Indian para-athletes started slowly and grew into a rhythm. However, Sundar’s first throw breached the 64m mark and confirmed that he is in contention for a medal.
The momentous day ended with javelin throw F64 class event where two Indians, Sumit Antil and Sandeep Chaudhury took part. A lot of hopes were pinned on Sumit Antil as he was one of India’s biggest medal hopefuls for the Tokyo Paralympics.
Antil met his expectations as he struck the gold with a world record throw of 68.55m. He broke the world record thrice before clinching the gold medal.
However his compatriot, Sandeep Chaudhury finished at the fourth spot after staying in medal contention for most of the time. His best effort was 62.20m, which fell short to guide him for a podium finish.