Indian Yogesh Kathuniya punched above his weight to overcome three foul attempts and claim the bronze medal in the men’s discus throw F56 final at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai on Tuesday. By virtue of his feat, Kathuniya sealed India’s seventh slot at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Earlier, India’s sixth place at the global event was ensured by Praveen Kumar on Monday evening with a fourth-place finish in the men’s high jump T64 final. He attained a personal best clearing the bar at 1.92 metres.
According to the International Paralympic Committee rules, the top four ranked athletes at the World Para Athletics Championships in each of the individual medal events on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Programme (excluding Marathon) will obtain one qualification slot for their respective country.
Giving his best in his sixth attempt, Kathuniya, 23, threw the discus to a distance of 42.51 metres in his sixth attempt to take the bronze.
Brazilian Claudiney Batista dos Santos (45.92m) but Iran’s Ali Mohammadyari was lucky to manage just one right attempt in his last a 43.51 metres to take the silver.
“After the first three fouls, I threw the next three easy. There was no pressure on me. I just wanted to make a mark in my first World Championships and finally, I did it. I am happy to get the bronze,” he said.
“It was my first major Championships and a big learning experience here. And when I go back, I will work on my technique with my coach, said Kathuniya, who trains under Naval Singh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
After Kathuniya’s achievement, India now have two gold, one silver and two bronze from this Championships.