Blade runner Desai wins India’s first gold at Dubai 2022 Para Athletics GP

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Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai saved the blushes for India on the second day of competitions clinching the gold medal in men’s 200m T64 final at the Dubai 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix – 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships here.

It was the only medal for India on the day as throwers faltered at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.

Desai led from start-to-finish to finish the race in 24.42 secs, ahead of Thailand’s Denpoom Kotcharang (25.78 sec) and Kenneth Jenssen Heggdal of Norway (27.08 sec).

“I came here with the gold in my mind and I am happy to lead the race from start to finish. It’s nice to be back here. I have been working on my endurance speed for the past few months. Happy to execute my plans here.

“My target is to win 100m and 200m gold for India at the Asian Para Games which would pave my way to the Paris 2024 Paralympics,” added the 22-year-old Desai, who trains in Sports Authority of India Centre, Gandhinagar.

The day also witnessed one world record in men’s javelin F40 finals when Iraq’s Naas Ahmed hurled the javelin to a distance of 39.08 m to take the gold. It was also an Asian record.

After two days, Colombia sits on top of the medals table with 13 medals that has six gold, ahead of Thailand (16) and Tunisia (7). India lies in the 15th place with four medals.

Among the top names, Switzerland legend Marcel Hug started his campaign at the Championships with a gold medal in the men’s 1500m wheelchair T54 race.

Great Britain’s women’s wheelchair racing legend Hannah Cockroft ran in 17.36 sec to clinch her second gold of the competition, this time in 100 m wheelchair women final T34/53.

Likewise, Thailand’s wheelchair Paralympic star Pongsakorn Paeyo claimed his second gold in the Dubai 2022 event racing in 14.43 sec in men’s 100 m wheelchair T53 final.

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