London: Javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar gave India its first medal at the 2017 IPC Para Athletics Championships here. In the absence of Paralympic gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia, Sundar, who had been disqualified from his event in Rio 2016 due to technical reasons, found redemption and took home the gold medal and the tag of world champion with a personal best throw of 60.36m.
Speaking after his event, Sundar said, “I was very disappointed after Rio, as I had prepared intensely and ultimately, could not compete. My morale was completely broken then, but I am delighted with this comeback to competition. I had trained hard for the World Championships as well, but not as much as I had done for Rio.
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“Hence, this gold medal is great motivation for me to perform even better from here on. I have recovered fully, and will do even better at the Asian Games (next year).” The javelin F46 event also saw another impressive performance by 18-year old Rinku. The talented boy from Rohtak who had finished 5th in Rio, bettered his personal best from the Paralympics with a 55.12m throw, to end fourth and narrowly miss out on another medal for India.
Rinku, who is supported by the GoSports Foundation as part of the Para Champions Programme, was pleased with his performance. In the men’s shotput F57 event, fellow GoSports Foundation athlete Virender Dhankar also came tantalizingly close to a podium place, ended fourth with a throw of 13.62m.