Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Meet Sumit Antil, who reset world record thrice on way to winning javelin gold-Sports News , Firstpost

Javelin thrower Sumit Antil won India’s seventh medal of Tokyo Paralympics. Here’s a short profile of the man who reset the world record thrice on the way to winning gold at Tokyo Paralympics

India’s gold medallist Sumit Antil flanked by Sri Lanka’s bronze medallist Dulan Kodithuwakku (left) and Australia’s silver medallist Michal Burian on Monday. OIS via AP

Javelin thrower Sumit Antil won India’s seventh medal of Tokyo Paralympics on Monday. Incredibly, it was India’s fifth medal of the day, and second gold medal, after shooter Avani Lekhara’s win in the morning.

Sumit’s medal came with a world record distance of 68.55m. In fact, he reset his own world record thrice on Monday, first hurling the spear to a distance of 66.95m in his first throw, then resetting it with a second throw of 68.08m and finally throwing a distance of 68.55m in his fifth attempt.

While Sumit could not register a mark in his last throw, all five of his remaining throws were over the pre-Tokyo Paralympics world record distance of 62.88m, which he himself had thrown in November 2019 in Dubai at the world championships.

The thrower, who has been supported by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) with financial assistance in procurement of prosthesis and equipment, is a student of commerce at New Delhi’s Ramjas College. Sumit was born in a middle-class family in June 1998, and used to be a wrestler in his younger days.

But an accident in January 2015, while returning from the tuitions, resulted in him having to have his leg amputated below the knee.

Since his father was in the Air Force, Sumit was taken to the Army Hospital where he was operated upon and recuperated for the next two months. He was then shifted to the Artificial Limb Center in Pune.

After getting a prosthetic leg, he let go of his dream of becoming a wrestler, but kept on practising normal workouts. In July 2017, a para-athlete in his village told him about the Paralympic Games, which changed his life forever.

At first it was a challenge for him to cope with that much working out, as there was a lot of pain in his stump. Sometimes his liner (inner part of prosthetic leg) would be filled with blood due to excessive heat in it.

Earlier this year, he made headlines after competing in able-bodied javelin throw event at the 2021 Indian Grand Prix event in Patiala.

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