LONDON — Javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar opened India's account at the World Para Athletics Championships by clinching the gold in the men's javelin throw F46 category event here July 15.
Sundar recorded his personal best effort of 60.36 meters July 14, the very first night of the tournament. Dinesh Priyantha Herath of Sri Lanka emerged second with 57.93m, followed by defending champion China's Guo Chunliang, with a season best of 56.14m.
The 21-year-old Sundar, who for technical reasons failed to qualify for Rio Paralympics last year, won three gold medals – one each in javelin throw, shot put and discus throw – in the Fazza IPC Athletics Grand Prix this February.
The javelin F46 event also saw another impressive performance by 18-year old Rinku.
The talented boy from Rohtak who finished fifth in the Rio Paralympics, bettered his personal best from the Paralympics with a 55.12m throw, to end fourth and narrowly miss out on another medal for India.
In the men's shotput F57 event, Virender Dhankar also came tantalizingly close to a podium place, ended fourth with a throw of 13.62m.
Amit Saroha clinched the silver medal in the men's club throw F51 competition in the World Para Athletics Championships July 17.
The 32-year-old Saroha's best throw of 30.25 meters, which came in his third attempt, won him the silver medal. In the process, the para-athlete from Haryana set a new Asian record in the event.
Serbia's Zeljko Dimitrijevic retained his title with a world record throw of 31.99m to clinch the gold.
Another Indian, Dharambir, finished 10th with his best throw of 22.34m.
Speaking after his event, having successfully defended his title from the 2015 edition, Amit said: "After narrowly missing out in Rio 2016, I feel it was that urge to make good on that unfulfilled ambition."
"I am very glad that I have gained on what I missed out in Rio. While I broke the world record as it stood before our event, Dimitrijevic's throw went one better and set the new world record.
"I would also like to dedicate this medal to the brave Indian soldiers who are at the borders of our country protecting us," he added.
Saroha, the first quadriplegic to represent India at a Paralympic Games (London 2012), will also take part in the men's discus throw F52 final July 18.