World Para Athletics Championships: India is rewarded with Silver and Bronze after a protest

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World Para Athletics Championships

In a significant turn of events at the World Para Athletics Championships held in Kobe, Japan, India emerged victorious in a protest, leading to the nation being awarded silver and bronze medals in the men’s javelin throw F46 event.

Category controversy at World Para Athletics Championships

The athletes at the centre of this development were Rinku Hooda and Ajeet Singh. They had initially finished third and fourth respectively in the men’s F46 javelin throw final. However, the results were put on hold after India lodged a protest against Dinesh Priyantha Herath of Sri Lanka, who had secured the second place.

The crux of the protest revolved around the eligibility of Herath to compete in the F46 category. In para-sports, athletes are classified into groups with similar levels of physical ability to ensure fair competition. The F46 classification is specifically for athletes with arm deficiency, impaired muscle power, or impaired passive range of movement in arms, with athletes competing in a standing position.

The Indian contingent argued that Herath was not classified properly and did not belong to the F46 category. The Paralympic Committee of India played a crucial role in presenting the case.

After careful consideration, the authorities ruled in favour of India. Herath was disqualified, leading to a reshuffling of the medal positions. Rinku, who had originally finished third with an effort of 62.77m, was upgraded to second place, thus securing the silver medal. Similarly, Ajeet, with an effort of 62.11m, moved up from fourth place to be awarded the bronze.

This victory in the protest was a significant achievement for India. Not only did it ensure a fair competition, but it also added to India’s medal tally at the Championships. With the addition of silver and bronze, India’s tally swelled to 14 medals, including 5 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze. This placed India in the sixth position overall.

Moreover, this marked India’s best-ever performance at the World Para Athletics Championships, surpassing the previous record medal haul of 10 medals (3 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze) won in the 2023 edition in Paris.

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