Sri Lanka Army’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath created history winning the country’s first Paralympics gold medal and proved his coach Pradeep Nishantha’s prediction right; he beat India’s defending champion and world record holder in the men’s F46 javelin throw in Tokyo yesterday.
In his third attempt, Herath hurled the javelin to a distance of 67.79 metres, the furthest a Para athlete in the F46 category had ever thrown in the history of Paralympics.
The world and Paralympics record holder Devendra who was attempting to defend his title also improved on his previous mark, but the Indian’s best throw fell more than three metres behind the Sri Lankan’s new mark. The previous World Record mark was 63.97 metres.
While the 35-year-old Herath stormed to gold, the reigning Rio 2016 champion Devendra claimed silver with a throw of 64.35 metres.
Last week in an interview with The Island Pradeep Nishantha said that his charges were ready to create history in Tokyo on Monday. And it was exactly what Herath and Dulan Kodithuwakku did. While Herath won the country’s first-ever gold, Kodithuwakku won a bronze in the F64 javelin throw making it the first time the country had won more than one medal at Paralympics.