Dubai: Para athletes Dharambir and Devendra Singh claimed a silver each as the Dubai 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix-13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships commenced at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds here.
Overall, India took three medals on the opening day Monday with Jyoti Behera claiming bronze in 400m women’s T37/38/47 final.
In men’s club throw final F32/51, Dharambir, the 2018 Asian Para Games silver medallist in Jakarta, threw the club to a distance of 31.09 metres in his second attempt to finish second behind Algeria’s Walid Ferhah who stayed ahead right from the first throw and saved his best for the last heave — 37.42m. With the effort, Dharambir also set a new Asian record. Great Britain’s Stephen Miller took the bronze with 29.28 metres.
Devendra settled for silver in men’s discus throw F44 after hurling it to a distance of 50.36 metres in combined F42/43/44 category. Kuwait’s Faisal Sorour, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist, took the F42 gold with a throw of 47.61.m, which was also an Asian record, while France’s Badr Touzi took bronze in F42 with a 39.16-metre throw.
“I am very happy with the result here. A few months back I wasn’t sure if I would be competing in the Fazza event due to health reasons. I was down with Covid-19 and hardly trained for the past few months. We have important events this year, so it was good to start the year with a medal,” said the 28-year-old Devendra.
Six records were broken on the opening day, including a world record, thanks to the efforts of Columbia’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Jose Gregorio Lemos Rivas, who stole the limelight in men’s javelin final F12/13/38. The 30-year-old hurled the javelin to a distance of 60.58 metres in his fourth throw, for a world record and the gold medal.
The Championships, hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, kicked off the World Para Athletics’ Grand Prix season with around 500 para-athletes from 43 nations in action at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds this week.
The Championships hold significance as athletes will aim to achieve Minimum Qualification Standard for this July’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Asian Para Games in Hangzhou (China), in October.