Tokyo Paralympics 2021: Avani Lethara and Sumit Antil Bring Gold Home

India, which previously only dreamed of earning a medal at the Olympic Games or global championships, is now winning big time, with gold medals coming home with every event. This has been proved true by Javline Thrower Neeraj Chopra in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 and now by Shooter Avani Lethara and Javelin Thrower Sumit Antil in the Tokyo Paralympics 2021.

Avani Lethara became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. In the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event, she shot her way to the top of the podium. The 19-year-old completed with a total of 249.6, which is a new Paralympic record as well as a global record. 

While Sumit Antil, a wrestler turned javelin thrower, won gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw F64 with a best throw of 68.55m, a new World Record.

Interesting Fact:

After swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan, she is the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympic gold (2016).

Total Medal Counts: 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze

  • Bhavina Patel earned the country’s first medal in the Women’s singles Table Tennis C4 event, taking silver.
  • Nishad Kumar won silver in the Men’s High Jump T47 event, giving India a total of two medals.
  • At the Tokyo Paralympics, Vinod Kumar made it three in a row by finishing third in the Discus Throw F42 event. Unfortunately, Vinod Kumar was deemed ‘ineligible‘ in a handicap classification evaluation and will have to forfeit his bronze medal in the men’s F52 discus throw event that he won on Sunday.
  • Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar won a silver and bronze medal respectively in Men’s javelin throw F46.
  • Yogesh Kathuniya won Silver in Men’s discus throw F56.

India is placed at 25th in gold medals, followed by silver and bronze medals.

History of Gold Medals in Paralympics by Indian Players:

  • Murlikant Petkar earned a gold medal in swimming at the 1972 Paralympic Games, giving India its first Paralympic medal. 
  • Devendra Jhajharia earned a Gold Medal in Men’s Javelin Throw F44/ 46 at Athens 2004 and Rio 2016.
  • Mariyappan Thangavelu earned a gold medal in the men’s high jump F42 event in Rio 2016.

We have seven medals from the Tokyo Paralympics, but the event is far from done. We have 6 days left to earn and conquer the event. So, fingers crossed.

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