Tokyo Paralympics athletics: Devendra Jhajharia, Yogesh Kathuniya win silver, Sundar Singh takes bronze

Devendra Jhajaria and Sundar Singh Gurjar won medals in the men’s F46 javelin throw. Yogesh Kathuniya won silver in the men’s F56 discus throw.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by Paralympic Committee of India

India’s Devendra Jhajaria became the country’s most decorated Paralympian after he took silver in the men’s javelin throw F46 category at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Monday.

Devendra Jhajaria - a two-time Paralympic champion - had a best throw of 64.35m in the final. It was a new personal best, shattering his own previous world and Paralympic record of 63.97m.

However, Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Herath threw a best attempt of 67.79, making a new world record in the process, to take home the gold medal.

The silver medal was Devendra Jhajharia’s third Paralympic medal - tying him for most Paralympic medals by a single Indian athlete alongside Joginder Singh Bedi - who won two bronze and one silver medal at the 1984 Paralympics.

The 40-year-old Devendra Jhajharia won gold medals at the Athens 2004 and the Rio 2016 Games. He didn't compete at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as his category wasn't listed in the two Games.

"I am happy I won the silver medal and congratulations to Herath, good performance and a new world record,” Devendra said. “I am so happy and I am so proud... I am a proud Indian. I’ve won a hat-trick of medals. 

“My country hoped for a gold medal, but I have won silver, but next time I’ll do better. I won a silver medal, Sundar (Singh Gurjar) won the bronze medal, and (Neeraj) Chopra is gold medal winner. I am so happy.

"India's very proud."

Fellow Indian Sundar Singh Gurjar won the bronze medal in the men’s F46 javelin throw with a best attempt of 64.01m, which was his best of the season.

It is the first Paralympic medal for Sundar Singh Gurjar, who is a two-time javelin throw world champion.

The third Indian in the men’s javelin throw F46 category, Ajeet Singh finished eighth with a best throw of 56.15m.

The F46 class is part of sports classes for athletes who compete with limb deficiencies, like amputations or shortened limbs from birth. Athletes whose arms are affected compete in sport classes 45-47.

Yogesh Kathuniya adds to India’s medals tally

Meanwhile, India’s Yogesh Kathuniya won silver in the men’s discus throw F56 category with a best attempt of 44.38m, his best of the season.

Brazil’s Claudiney Batista dos Santos took gold with a Paralympic record of 45.59m and Leonardo Diaz of Cuba won bronze with a best throw of 43.36m.

The three athletics medals on Monday took India’s total medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to seven - their best-ever haul at a single Paralympics.

India had won four medals at the Rio 2016 Games, their previous best.

The F56 is part of the sports classes where athletes compete in a wheelchair or throwing chair due to impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference.

Athletes in the F56 class can partially bend their hips and legs in addition to having trunk function.