One of India’s top performers at the Tokyo Paralympics, Javelin thrower Sumit Antil created history by breaking the world record thrice in six attempts. He won the gold medal in the Javelin throw in the Men F-64 category.
The Indian hurled the javelin the farthest in his sixth attempt achieving a new world record of 68.55m. He was overjoyed after winning the gold medal at the Paralympics. “Winning a medal in Paralympics was my ultimate dream, but I never expected that I would win it in my maiden participation; I couldn’t ask for a better debut and can’t explain my joy in words,” he stated.
The 23-year-old revealed that he was nervous about the big day so much that he could not sleep at night. It was his first Paralympics therefore the nerves were pretty high. “I did not sleep properly. I knew that the next day would be the last throw of dice, so I was thinking about how best I can perform on the big day. But I was equally excited too as I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” he shared.
Antil wanted to give his best at the big stage and with every effort he got more and more comfortable. However, he did not set any benchmark for himself ahead of the Paralympics. “I hoped to give my best shot and treasure the experience of playing at the Paralympics. And it indeed turned out to be the most memorable one in my life. Competing with the best players will be a tough battle, so I just wanted to remain focused and not deviate,” he said.
The youngster revealed how it was a completely surreal experience for him to go up at the podium to collect his gold medal and also hearing the national anthem play on such a global stage was very overwhelming for him. He also dedicated the gold medals to his parents, coaches and all the countrymen.
“My mind was blank, and it took me a few minutes to realise that I’d actually won gold,” he says, adding that going to the podium and collecting the medal was a completely different experience. “I dedicate the medal to my parents, coaches and the country,” said the Paralympic champion.