Sundar Singh Gurjar successfully bagged the first medal for India at the World Para Athletics Championships on the first of the competition. He became the second Indian to accomplish this feat after Devendra Jhajharia won the same event back in 2013. Gurjar finished at the top of the F46 category javelin throw category after a personal best throw of 60.36m.
This is one of his biggest achievements at the international level after his unfortunate disqualification from the Rio Olympics last year due to delay in arrival. The national champion was a big contender for a podium finish which sadly could not be realized. However, we saw a great portrayal of his abilities at the Fazza IPC Athletics Grand Prix in February this year. He managed to win 3 gold medals cumulative from the javelin throw, discuss throw and shot put events.
Competing in London for the first time, he broke his personal best throwing better than his opponents Dinesh Herath from Sri Lanka (57.93m) and Guo Chinluang of China (56.14m). Another Indian, Rinku Hooda recorded a fourth place finish after his throw of 55.12m.
“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,” said Gurjar
“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).”
With this medal, India ranks sixth on the medals tally after Day 1 of the competition. Great Britain enjoys the top position with 3 medals, one each of gold, silver, and bronze.