Dubai: Day Two of the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships belonged to India as javelin throwers Sandeep Chaudhary and Sumit Antil both bettered the world record and booked their spots for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Competing in the F64 category after the F43, F44, F63 and F64 categories were clubbed into one, both Chaudhary and Antil shone bright while completing a one-two podium finish for India in the men’s Javelin throw. Ukrainian Novak Roman, a F44 athlete, managed a distant third with a throw of 57.36 metres.
While Chaudhary bettered his own world record of 65.80m in the F44 category, Antil hurled the spear to a distance of 62.88m to improve his world record of 61.32 metres in the F64 category that he had set in Paris in August.
Chaudhary, an Asian Para Games champion, said he had come to Dubai while making a promise to himself of get setting a personal best distance. “This medal is even more special as it is a new world record in my category. I am absolutely thrilled and satisfied with my performance wherein I could fulfil my personal goal as well,” the 23-year-old related.
Chaudhary also predicted a sound future for Antil, who has been training along with him for the past few months. “He [Antil] is also doing a good job as he has been working hard. The new world record will motivate him to do even better in the future,” Chaudhary predicted.
Interestingly, both the Indians had re-written the world records in their categories at the Grosseto Para Athletics Grand Prix held in June this year. Chaudhary was just not pleased with his form but by the fact that he could now maintain his rhythm towards Tokyo 2020. “The idea is to try and continue with this form. This season I have participated in four events and I finished with gold in all four, while Sumit also has come in with some fine results,” Chaudhary pointed.
“The medal here is certainly a big motivation to continuing with this build-up process while continuing to do the things we are doing right now. For sure, winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games is the ultimate target,” he added.
In other events, China’s Zhou Peng got a personal best with a jump of 6.23 metres to win the men’s long jump T37 finals, while Colombia’s Hooker Velasquez set a new American record with a time of 51.10secs in men’s 400m T38 finals.
Tunisia’s multi-Olympic gold medallist Maroua Brahmi went on to win the gold in the women’s F32 Club Throw with a distance of 24.45m — way below her own world record of 26.93m set at the 2016 Rio Games — while Noura Al Ketbi narrowly missed a podium finish for the UAE after her throw of 18.30m was fourth best.
On the track, Finland’s world record holder Tahti Leo Pekka Took ran in a time of 13.97s to clinch gold in the men’s 100m T54 final.