Indian para-athlete Sandeep Chaudhary says he will target a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics after he won a gold in javelin F64 with a world record in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Sandeep hurled the javelin to a distance of 66.18m on Friday to better his own world record of 65.80m in F44 category, while Sumit Antil sent the spear to a distance of 62.88m to clinch the silver and better his own F64 world record of 60.45m. With the gold and silver winning performances, both Sandeep and Sumit also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Under International Paralympic Committee rules, the top four ranked athletes at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in each of the individual medal events on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Programme (excluding Marathon) will each obtain one qualification slot for their respective country.
The F44 and F64 categories were clubbed into one combined event (of F64) in this World Championships. The world records are, however, counted according to the respective classifications of the athletes. The F44 category athletes have leg amputations or reduced function in one or both legs, and they compete without a prothesis. The F64 category athletes have limb deficiency and leg length difference, and they compete with prosthesis.
"Winning a medal at Tokyo 2020 is the target," the 23-year-old Sandeep said. Asked about his plans for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Sandeep said, "We will try to continue the rhythm. This season I have participated in four events and I finished with gold while Sumit also has some good results. The medal here is certainly a big motivation to continuing the process and keep doing the things we are doing now."
On his performance in this championships, he said, "I'm very satisfied with my performance as it was also my personal best. I came here with a promise to improve my distance. It was also a new world record in my category so I am really happy about it. Sumit is my junior and is training with me. He is also doing a good job and has worked hard. The new world record will motivate him to do even better. I'm really happy that we made our country proud," said Sandeep, an Asian Para Games champion.