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Sundar Gurjar puts behind Rio 2016 disappointment, wins gold at Para-Athletics Worlds

Sundar Gurjar, leaving behind Rio Paralympics nightmare, clinched gold medal in javelin throw at London World Championship

other sports Updated: Jul 15, 2017 22:41 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Sundar Gurjar,Para Athletics World Championship,Devendra Jhajharia
Sundar Gurjar is all smiles after winning the gold medal in javelin throw at the Para Athletics World Championship.(HT Photo)

Sundar Gurjar made up for the disappointment at Rio Paralympics, where he was disqualified, by clinching gold in javelin throw at the Para-Athletics World Championships in London on Friday.

Gurjar was not allowed to compete at Rio as he turned up late for his event.

In London, however, he came up with a personal best of 60.36m in the fourth throw among six attempts, to grab top honours in F-46 category (disability with single arm amputee).

READ | Sundar Singh Gurjar blames team coach for missing Rio Paralympics event

“I was eagerly waiting for this moment since the Rio fiasco and I am very happy that I was able to pull it off,” an elated Gurjar told HT. “Although sure of a medal before the start, I had a sprain in my ankle while attempting the first throw and that sowed seeds of doubt. I thought bad luck would deprive me of a medal again. Thankfully, it was a minor sprain and in the next throw I touched 59.42m which gave me confidence,” said Gurjar, who hails from Rajasthan.

It’s only the second time that an Indian para-athlete has won gold at the World Championships. Earlier, in 2013, Devendra Jhajharia won gold in javelin throw. He also went on to clinch gold at Rio Paralympics.

READ | Rio Paralympics: India’s Devendra Jhajharia wins gold in F-46 Javelin throw

“I am thankful to God that I am back on track. The Rio episode put my career in jeopardy. I thought it was all over. But somehow, with the help of my family and coach Mahaveer Prasad, I was able to get back to training and gradually pick up the momentum. The medal at the World Championships was very important for me. Had I missed it, I would have gone mad,” said Gurjar.

Eyes on Tokyo 2020

Till November 2015, Gurjar was competing in general category and also had a junior national gold to his credit. But an accident at a friend’s place, which was under construction, changed his life. He lost his left hand after a steel sheet fell on it.

He soon began competing in para-sport. “A medal in London is just a consolation and only a podium finish in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics can make up for the Rio loss. If everything goes as per plans, and God stays kind to me, I am going to make the country proud in Tokyo,” said Gurjar, who is also competing in the shot put and discus throw events in London.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 09:50 IST