Hometown: Khewda, Sonipat, Haryana
Age: 23 Years
Height: 6′ 2
Some Lesser Known Facts About Sumit Antil
Sumit Antil is an Indian Paralympian athlete and Javelin Throw player who is known for breaking the world record and his own personal record at the 2020 Summer Paralympics by throwing 68.55 m in the finals.
Sumit Antil was born in a middle-class family in Sonipat, Haryana. His father was a retired Air Force official who passed away when he was seven years old. His mother took care of him and his three elder sisters.
In his school days, Sumit wanted to pursue a career in wrestling and he was a huge fan of Yogeshwar Dutt. However, in 2015, Sumit met with an accident when a tractor trolly loaded with cement hit him while he was coming back from his tuition. He was immediately taken to the military hospital, where the doctors had to amputate his leg. He was on bed rest for the new two months, and later, he was shifted to Artificial Limb Center, Pune.
In 2017, another para-athlete from his village, Rajkumar, introduced Sumit to Para Athletics and asked him to change his sport and start competing. Sumit began practicing under the guidance of his coach, Naval Singh in Delhi. In the beginning, it was tough for him to work out as the liner of his prosthetic leg would fill up with blood due to excessive heat. However, Sumit never gave up and kept practicing. In an interview with the Times of India, Naval said-
When I saw Sumit for the first time I had to motivate him a lot. He wanted to be a wrestler, but that career path wasn’t possible then. Sumit has good height and physique. He was 6’2 and had a good build. I knew if I worked on him, he could do wonders. I managed to convince him to switch to javelin and he started training under me,”
With his consistent performance, Sumit began winning medals, and he won his first silver medal in World Para Athletics Championship, Dubai in 2019, and broke his own record by throwing the javelin to a distance of 62.88 m.
After observing his performance in various events, GoSports Foundation decided to induct Sumi in the Para Champions Programme in 2019 to support his financial needs and to motivate him.
After his performance in Dubai, Sumit was qualified for the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Sumit made history during the games when he broke his own personal record and the world record thrice in a single game. He threw the javelin at a distance of 68.55 m in his fifth throw and set up a new world record.
Sumit Antil also competed in the able-bodied Indian Grand Prix series in Patiala and he finished seventh with the best throw of 66.43 m. He competed against the Indian olympian Neeraj Chopra.
While Sumit was preparing for the Paralympics, his coach Naval was confident that Sumit will bring back a gold medal in the game and he did.
I have never seen such a dedicated sportsperson. He is so determined. I’m sure he will win gold at the Paralympics.”
After winning the gold medal, the Haryana Government offered a cash reward of Rs. 6 crores to Sumit Antil. Along with him, the government also decided to give a cash reward of Rs. 4 crores to the silver medalist discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya. Both the athletes also got government job offers.
#TokyoParalympics | Haryana government to honour gold medalist javelin thrower, Sumit Antil, with a cash reward of Rs 6 cr and silver medalist discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya with Rs 4 cr.
Haryana govt also offers govt jobs to Sumit Antil and Yogesh Kathuniya.
— ANI (@ANI) August 30, 2021
During an interview with India Today, Sumit talked about how he had done better during training sessions and believed that this was not his best performance. In an interview, he said-
It is a dream come true. I can’t express my feelings right now. This is my first Paralympics and I was a little nervous because the competitors are great. “I was hoping for a 70-metre-plus throw, maybe I can do 75m. It was not my best, I am very happy to break the world record”.
The whole nation came forward to congratulate Sumit Antil for winning the gold medal in the Paralympics and for breaking the world record thrice. Several athletes like the Olympics medal winner Abhinav Bindra, Indian athlete and 2016 Summer Paralympics silver medal winner Deepa Malik, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Neeraj Chopra also came forward to praise Sumit Antil for his spectacular win.
ख़तरनाक performance भाई सुमित 👌💪 proud of you 🇮🇳 https://t.co/CNUDDtPAc7
— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 30, 2021
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi also congratulated Sumit Antil for his achievement through a tweet on his Twitter account. He also called Sumit on his phone to wish him personally for winning the gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Our athletes continue to shine at the #Paralympics! The nation is proud of Sumit Antil’s record-breaking performance in the Paralympics.
Congratulations Sumit for winning the prestigious Gold medal. Wishing you all the best for the future.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 30, 2021