World record, Paralympics gold not enough for Sumit Antil

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Wrestler-turned-javelin thrower Sumit Antil secured India's second gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in the F46 category with a world record throw of 68.55m
Wrestler-turned-javelin thrower Sumit Antil secured India's second gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in the F46 category with a world record throw of 68.55m

India bagged another gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics with Sumit Antil simply dominating the field and taking top spot in the Men’s Javelin Throw F64 event.

Not only did Sumit break the previous world record of 62.88m (which had also been set by him), he broke his world record thrice on way to gold on Monday.

Also Read: Avani’s gold triggers windfall for India at Tokyo Paralympics

His best attempt of the day was a humongous throw of 68.55m, which landed him in pole position with an air of ease. Australian Michael Burian came second with a 66.29m throw, and Dulan Kodithuwakku took the bronze at 65.61m.

The F64 category is for those athletes who have a leg amputation, but compete using
prosthetics in a standing position.

Sumit, 23, from Sonepat in Haryana ensured the whole world would remember his name. His sheer dominance was simply too much for the other athletes. In his first attempt, he started off with a 66.95m throw which would have been enough to pick up the gold medal. It also broke his previous personal best of 62.88m.

He took it a step further in his massive second attempt which recorded 68.08m and increased his lead over the rest of the field. Even his following attempts – 65.27m and 66.71m would have broken his record (62.88m), set at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

But the Indian made it a night to remember with his last successful attempt which recorded 68.55m on the scoreboard and put his name in history books. Unfortunately, his final attempt was deemed a foul throw. In the end, his scores read 66.95, 68.08, 65.27, 66.71, 68.55 and foul.

Sumit, a student of Delhi’s Ramjas College, used to be an able-bodied wrestler before he met with a gruesome accident six years back. In 2015, he was involved in a motorbike accident which resulted in doctors having to amputate his left leg below the knee.

Also Read: India bag three medals on eventful day

In 2018, he was initiated to para javelin by a para athlete in his village. In fact, Sumit has also gone up against Tokyo Olympics champion Neeraj Chopra in the able-bodied Indian Grand Prix Series 3, that was held in Patiala in March. Sumit secured the seventh spot with a best attempt of 66.43m, and watched Neeraj demolish his national record with a huge 88.07m attempt.

After Sumit’s win, Neeraj Chopra tweeted, “ख़तरनाक performance भाई सुमित. Proud of You.”

After breaking the world record five times on way to gold, Sumit vowed to better his incredible performance. “This is my first Paralympics and I was a little nervous because the competitors are great. I was hoping for a 70-metre-plus throw, maybe I can do 75m. It was not my best, I am very happy to break the world record,” he said.

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