Jakarta [Indonesia]: A world record throw of 60.01m from India’s Sandeep Chaudhary in men’s javelin F42-44/F61-64 category headlined the first day of athletics in the Jakarta Asian Para Games on Monday.
A clean sweep from Sri Lanka further ensured that the Asian powerhouses–China and Uzbekistan–were left trailing in the event. Sandeep set the tone with a stunning throw as he claimed gold in the men’s category.
“I had undergone a rigorous preparation for the Asian Para Games. With the world record, I have won the coveted gold. I’m really glad,” said Sandeep, as quoted by paralympic.org. “I’m not going to stop there with that performance, I will try my best at the next world championships in Dubai. I express my gratitude to coaches and the Paralympic Committee of India who supported me at every level. It is a massive achievement for India and for me personally as well,” he added.
On the track, Sri Lankans contributed in a clean sweep of the men’s 200m T42/T63. While Prasan Warnakulasooriya clinched the gold medal, his compatriots Chuladasa Abarana Gedura (silver) and Buddika Indrapala (bronze) also made podium finishes.
“I am on cloud nine as this is my first Asian Games appearance. Also, it is a matter of pride that to Sri Lanka captured the top three spots. Running personal best on a first tour I’m so happy,” said Warnakulasooriya.
Meanwhile, the first three gold medals of the day on the track went to China after Hongzhuan Zhou won the women’s 800m T53, her compatriot Lihong Zou won the women’s 800m T54 and Dening Zhu made a podium finish in the men’s 200m T38.
Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Azawi (200m T35) claimed the other track gold of the morning session. China missed out in the field though, as Uzbekistan’s Safiya Burkhanova held off a challenge from three Chinese athletes to win gold in the women’s shot put F11/12.
Compatriot Kamolakhon Abdullaeva won the women’s long jump T45/46/47 event.
Uzebekistan completed a hat-trick of gold medals in the field as Alexsandr Svechnikov won an enthralling battle with Iran’s Behzad Azizi in the men’s javelin F12/13 event. Svechnikov (67.92m) always held the upper hand however; the Iranian (65.62m) pushed him all the way.