Tokyo: Two-time gold-winning javelin throw veteran Devendra Jhajharia clinched a stupendous third Paralympic medal, a silver this time, while Sundar Singh Gurjar chipped in with a bronze, finishing behind Jhajharia in the men’s javelin throw F46 final as India surpassed its best-ever medal tally at the Games on Monday.
The F46 classification is for athletes with arm deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in arms, with athletes competing in a standing position.
The 40-year-old Jhajahria, already India’s greatest Paralympian after winning gold medals in the 2004 and 2016 Games, pulled off a new personal best throw of 64.35m for the silver.
Jhajahria, who lost his left hand after accidentally touching an electric wire while climbing a tree at the age of eight, bettered his own earlier world record (63.97m) but gold winner Sri Lankan Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage (67.79m), who set a new world record, was too good for the entire field.
The 25-year-old Gurjar, who lost his left hand in 2015 after a metal sheet fell on him at his friend’s house, was third with a best effort of 64.01m.
The Jaipur-based Gurjar had won gold in the 2017 and 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. He had also won a silver in the 2018 Jakarta Para Asian Games.
India had won four medals in the 2016 editions while the medal count stands at seven in the ongoing event.
On Sunday, India had picked up a silver (high jump) and a bronze (discus throw), which is on hold due to a protest.