Today was a fabulous day for the Indian sporting community. In the ongoing Paralympics events, team India strikingly bagged a total of 5 medals. The highlight of the day was two gold medals won by Avani Lekhara and Sumit Antil.
Avani Lekhara and Sumit Antil: Our Golden Gems
Avani Lekhara by winning the gold medal has now equalled the world record in the women’s R2 10m air rifle standing SH1. Praising her, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar tweeted, ‘Congratulations #AvaniLekhara for hitting the bullseye and creating history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a #Paralympics gold medal What a debut! #Tokyo2020‘.
Arjun Rampal also posted a congratulatory message, ‘Congratulations to Team India at the #ParalympicsTokyo2020 it’s raining medals and you all have made us all so so proud. Latest a gold for @AvaniLekhara in 10m air rifle. Awesome stuff.’
The Indian campaign has more to offer, after gold in shooting by Avani Lekhara, another gold came shortly. The Indian athlete Sumit Antil, broke his record thrice to clinch a medal in the javelin throw event.
With a throw of 68.55 m, Antil set up a world record in the men’s javelin F64 category. Thus, handing over a second gold medal to India in the Paralympic Games 2020, while another athlete, Sandeep Chaudhary finished fourth. He has the best throw of 62.20m. Chaudhary also came fourth in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro by competing in the F44 javelin category.
Sumit wanted to become a wrestler earlier but, because of an accident, he lost his left leg. It crushed his dream to wrestle on the mat. However, he didn’t lose hope.
Yogeshwar Dutt was my inspiration in wrestling: Sunil Antil
In an interview, Antil says, “Yogeshwar Dutt was my inspiration in wrestling. I always watched his videos and bouts and learned from those. Such a talented and brave wrestler he is. But when I met with a road accident in 2015, my wrestling journey ended on a terrible note.
I was riding my bike and a tractor hit my bike from behind. I slipped on the road and then the tractor driver failed to apply the brakes on time and ran over my left leg.”
Now, after winning a gold and breaking the world record, Sumit says, “I feel extremely happy having broken the world record thrice in the same competition but I still can’t express my emotions fully at this moment.”
“Firstly, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude by thanking the entire country and my family followed by my coaches at SAI and PCI because without their support I am nothing and my achievement does not mean anything and I promise all of them that I’ll keep working hard in my pursuit of bringing more laurels to my country in the future as well”, he concludes.
Many personalities from the sports and film industry have congratulated the Paralympians.
Neeraj Chopra, the first-ever Indian track and field gold medallist in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, took to social media. He writes, “We’ve seen some incredible medal-winning performances by Indian athletes over the past few days in the @paralympics
I hope we give all our Paralympians as much love and support as possible over the next few days! #tokyo2020paralympics”
PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Our athletes continue to shine at the #Paralympics! The nation is proud of Sumit Antil’s record-breaking performance in the Paralympics. Congratulations Sumit for winning the prestigious Gold medal. Wishing you all the best for the future.”
Dear readers, keep supporting our athletes!