India target rich medal haul as World Para C’ships begin today - GulfToday

India target rich medal haul as World Para C’ships begin today

India target rich medal haul as  World Para C’ships begin today

The Sundar Singh Gurjar-led Indian contingent target a rich medal haul at the World Para Athletics Championships.

A strong 23-member Indian team, led by reigning world champion Sundar Singh Gurjar, will be out to secure Tokyo 2020 Paralympics qualification slots when the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships kicks off here on Thursday.

The Indian contingent arrived in Dubai on Tuesday evening, and had their first official training at the Dubai Club for People of Determination Stadium. The athletes are brimming with confident and are excited about competing here.

For India, Javelin and High jump are the two events that they are hoping to win some medals.

Team India coach Naval Singh said his athletes are eager to go out in confident targeting eight medals. At the London 2017 World Championships, India finished in 34th place with five medals including just one gold.

“This time, the Indian team is stronger and we are targeting more medals than last time including four gold medals. We have six javelin throwers who are also medal contenders. We have some experienced athletes like Sandeep Chaudhary and Sundar, while Naval is a junior world champion. The team is confident to perform,” the coach added.

Gurjar, who is recovering from a right shoulder injury that he picked up during training, is now raring to defend his Javelin F46 gold medal that he won in London 2017.

“I have been training well. I had a muscle tear in my shoulder but I am recovering well. I will come up with a good show and defend my title,” he said.

World record holders Sandeep and Sumit, who shattered two world records in men’s F40-46 and 61-64 javelin throw category at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy in June, will be the other two athletes to watch out for in the Javelin events. Chaudhary, who is an Asian Para Games champion, said: “The team have prepared well and we are looking forward to the event. This is the last event in 2019 and everyone will be trying to give 100 per cent considering it’s a Tokyo 2020 qualification event. I am looking to get my personal best. The wind however will be a factor at the Venue.”

For the 21-year-old Sumit, he is aiming to make his debut World Championships a special one. “I am aiming to break the world record again. Though I don’t have much experience, but I am confident to do well. I am feeling positive.”

Among others, Asian Para Games champion Ekta Bhyan, who will start her campaign only on the November 11, promised to add to the medals tally at the Worlds this time. Rio 2016 gold medallist Thangavelu Mariyappan and London 2017 silver medallist Sharad Kumar will be in action in the men’s high jump T63 finals on Nov. 14.

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