Sumit, Thangavelu & Ekta win gold at World Para Athletics Championships

Ekta Bhyan and Kashish Lakra
Ekta Bhyan and Kashish Lakra finished 1-2 in the women's F51 club throw competition. Photo: IANS

Kobe (Japan): Reigning Paralympics champion Sumit Antil on Tuesday defended his F64 javelin throw world title while Thangavelu Mariyappan and Ekta Bhyan also grabbed gold medals in their respective high jump and club throw events on a productive day for India at the World Para Athletics Championships here on Tuesday.

Antil, who had won gold in the Tokyo Paralympics and 2023 World Para Athletics Championships, sent his spear to a distance of 69.50m to stand on top of the podium.

Compatriot Sandeep won the bronze medal in the same event with a throw of 60.41m.

Tokyo Paralympics silver winner Thangavelu then clicnhed the gold in T63 high jump with a championship record of 1.88m.

Ekta secured the gold medal with a season's best throw of 20.12m in the women's F51 club throw competition, while Kashish Lakra took the silver with an effort of 14.56m. Nadjet Boucherf of Algeria won the bronze with a score of 12.70m.

Ekta, a Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officer, had won a bronze medal at the Asian Para Games in China.

The 38-year-old, who took up sports after her selection in the Haryana government as HCS officer, also won gold medal in the club throw event at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta. She had also qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Ekta wanted to pursue a career in medical stream but a tragic accident in 2003 cut short her dream. The accident happened near Kundli in Sonepat district when a truck overturned on her cab on the Delhi-Haryana border.

While she suffered quadriplegic spinal cord injury and is wheelchair-bound ever since, six other students were killed in the accident.

India's tally has now swelled to 10 medals -- four gold, four silver and two bronze.

The championships will conclude on Saturday.

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