Hero Image

India's medal haul at World Para Athletics Championships swells to best ever after Sachin Khilari's gold

Sachin Sarjerao Khilari of India successfully defended his gold medal in the men's shot put F46 category, setting an Asian record at the World Para Athletics Championships on Wednesday. This achievement helped India surpass its previous best medal haul in the competition, reaching a total of 11 medals, including five gold. This marks an improvement over their 2023 performance in Paris, where they won 10 medals (3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze).

Sachin achieved a throw of 16.30 meters, surpassing his own Asian record of 16.21 meters set at last year's World Para Athletics Championship in Paris.

The F46 category in para athletics includes athletes with moderately impaired movement in one or both arms or those missing limbs, requiring them to generate power from their hips and legs during the throw.

Hailing from Karagani village in Maharashtra's Sangli district, Sachin experienced a mishap during his school days, resulting in a disability in his left hand. The 34-year-old's arm was affected by gangrene, leading to muscle loss from the elbow despite multiple surgeries.

On Tuesday, India had secured five medals, bringing their total to 10 (4 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze). China currently leads the medals tally, followed by Brazil.

Sachin, who won gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games, said he was confident of defending his title.

"I was expecting the gold here and I am happy. I have also qualified for Paris Paralympics and hope to win gold there also," Sachin said from Kobe.

With three days remaining in the competition, India has a strong chance of winning additional medals, including gold. Head coach Satyanarayan expressed his optimism about their prospects.

"We are expecting two more gold medals and hoping to touch the 17-medal mark," said Satyanarayan.

On Tuesday, reigning Paralympics champion Sumit Antil defended his F64 javelin throw world title, while Thangavelu Mariyappan and Ekta Bhyan secured gold medals in their respective events, propelling India to third place in the World Para Athletics Championships.

Antil, who clinched gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics and the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships, achieved a throw of 69.50 meters to top the podium. The 25-year-old from Haryana continued his dominance in the F64 javelin event, holding the current world record with a 73.29-meter throw from the Para Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last year. He also holds the World Para Athletics Championships record of 70.83 meters, set while winning gold in Paris in 2023.

In the same event, compatriot Sandeep won the bronze medal with a throw of 60.41 meters. Sri Lanka's Dulan Kodithuwakku secured the silver with a throw of 66.49 meters.

(With PTI inputs)