Para India
India's Sundar Singh Gurjar in action during the Men's Javelin Throw F46 Final at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Indian flag-bearer and reigning world champion Sundar Singh Gurjar and teammate Ajeet Singh have put country before self after winning two medals in a single event at the Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships being held at the Dubai Club for People of Determination.

Gurjar endured a shoulder niggle to claim India’s second gold at the ongoing championships with a season best throw of 61.22 metres in the men’s F46 javelin throw. Teammate Singh finished with a bronze (59.46 metres) behind Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Mudiyanselage (60.59 metres), late on Sunday.

The medals secure India an automatic spot at next year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games. But, Gurjar and his close friend and training partner Singh are looking at a much bigger picture. “The idea is to always do our best, be it in training or during competition. Tonight, it was all about hanging in there and believing in ourselves while winning two more medals for our country,” Gurjar told Gulf News.

Competition in the F46 was stiff with Mudiyanselage’s first attempt leading the way till Gurjar flung the spear to 61.22 metres on only his sixth and final attempt. “That’s sport for you,” he smiled.

“All along I had my friend Ajeet to push me towards achieving more and doing better. The pain in my right shoulder didn’t help as well. So tonight, it was just the challenge of giving my best for my country.”

Gurjar’s medal also ensured a successful defence of his world title that he won in 2017 at the London Championships. He also became only the second Indian to have clinched two World Championships medals after Devendra Jhajharia’s gold and silver at the 2013 Lyon and 2015 Doha editions.

“I never think about myself when I am out there. To me, it was important to go and give off my best so that India could have the honour of an automatic spot for the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Gurjar said.

“After this, I will pay attention to my shoulder injury and see how best I can keep myself in shape for the selections of the Indian squad for Tokyo.”

Singh, whose throw of 59.46 metres that handed him the bronze medal ahead of compatriot Rinku Rinku (57.59 metres), was also pleased with a real team effort. “It’s each one of us pushing the other to excel and do better,” Singh said.

“It’s always been this way for us. We are like one family. We support each other and do everything possible to ensure our country’s flag flies high.”

Earlier on Saturday, Sandeep Chaudhary and Sumit Antil had also secured two spots for Tokyo 2020 while winning the gold and silver in the javelin F64 category.