By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) High on confidence, Haryana’s para javelin thrower Sumit Antil aims to maintain Friday’s record-breaking performance of 66.43 metres, and stay tuned for Tokyo Paralympic Games this year.
The 22-year-old athlete competed in the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix along with India’s top javelin throwers, including Asian Games champion Neeraj Chopra, and finished seventh. He erased the previous record of 66.18m set by Sandeep Chaudhary at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship.
“It was good opportunity to compete with the top level athletes. It was a big motivating factor for me to improve the national record in F-64 category,” Antil told IANS.
Antil’s next stop is Tunisia Para Grand Prix, starting on March 18. “My goal will be to record another 66-plus metres throw. A good performance will add to my confidence,” he said.
By virtue of winning silver medal at the 2019 World Para Athletics, Antil became eligible to compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
The top four athletes in each of the events at the World Para Athletics get quota to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics.
But the final selection for the Paralympic will be conducted by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) three months before the main competition in Japan.
“A decline in form will result in missing the flight to Japan. So, it is important for me to repeat my Patiala’s performance as many times as possible in the next two-three months,” said Antil from Sonepat.
PCI secretary general Gurcharan Singh said the performance of Antil will be counted as a national record. “We plan to send a detail report to the World Para Athletics for their approval of the world record,” he said.