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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Rio Paralympics: M. Thangavelu Clinches Gold, Varun S. Bhati Bronze In High Jump

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Mariyappan Thangavelu made history at the Rio Paralympics as he clinched the gold medal in men’s high jump T-42 atRio Paralympics on Friday. Another Indian Varun Singh Bhati won the bronze medal.

Thangavelu clinched the gold with a jump of 1.89m while Bhati won the bronze with a jump of 1.86m, which is also his personal best mark. The silver went to American Sam Grewe.

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T42 is disability sport classification for differently abled track and field athletes with single ‘above the knee’ amputations or a disability that is comparable.

The 20-year-old Thangavely, with his stellar effort at Rio Paralympics, became the first Indian high-jumper to win a gold medal at Paralympics. He is also the third Indian to win a gold at Paralympics after Murlikant Petkar (Swimming, 1972 Heidelberg) and Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw, 2004 Athens).

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After Thangavelu and Bhati’s feat, India’s overall medal tally in all the Paralympics so far has reached 10 – three gold, three silver and four bronze. At the 2012 Paralympics, HN Girisha became the first Indian high-jumper to win a medal.

Inspirational journey

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The 20-year-old Mariyappan hails from a small village of Periavadagampatti, 50km from Salem, in Tamil Nadu.

At the age of five, a bus accident left him with a permanent disability. He was going to school when the bus took a wrong turn and ran over Thangavelu’s right leg, damaging it below knee, according to a report in The Hindu.

But that was not a deterrent for Thangavelu to pursue his dreams. In his first competition, he competed with able-bodied athletes and finished second. His rise has been steady since then.

In March, Thangavelu cleared a height of 1.78m at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia, to achieve the A-Qualification Standard of 1.60.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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