Mariyappand Thangavelu from India made history as he secured a Gold medal in men’s high jump t-42 at Rio Paralympics. On the other hand, another Indian Varun Bhati won the bronze.
Thangavelu clinched gold with a jump of 1.89 meters while Bhati won the bronze with an attempt of 1.86m. India thus opened their account in Rio with two medals on the same day.
American Sam Grewe won the Silver.
After Thangavelu and Bhati’s feat, India’s overall medal tally in all Paralympic Games has reached 10 – three golds, three silvers, and four bronze. At the 2012 Paralympics, HN Girisha became the first Indian high-jumper to win a medal.
Thangavelu, 20 years old comes from a small village in Tamil Nadu. At the age of 5, a bus accident left him disability, where his right leg got damaged below the knee.
Bronze medal winner Bhati was diagnosed with polio at a very young age as one of his legs got deformed. Despite the difficulty, Bhati went on to become a champion athlete.
After such great performances, the Paralympic Committee of India expects more medal from the Indian players,
Gursharan Singh, vice-president of the Paralympic Committee of India said, “We have very good chance in the javelin throw in F-46 and F-47 categories. We expect a gold or silver or bronze. We will create new record at these Games…These Games will be our best ever performance. We know how we performed at the Olympics and now you will see how we perform in Paralympics. We all know the facilities given to Olympians and how many medals they got and we will see how our Paralympians perform.”