In a historic moment for India, Mariyappan Thangavelu won the gold medal while compatriot Varun Singh Bhati clinched the bronze in the men’s high jump T-42 event on Saturday at the Rio Paralympics. The 20-year-old Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89m, while Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86m to finish third. USA’s Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal. View more at #Hindustan360 .
India’s other medal prospect Sharad Kumar finished at number six. T-42 is a disability classification in the sport for differently-abled track-and-field athletes with single ‘above the knee’ amputations or a comparable disability.
The event witnessed a fierce contest with six of the 12 athletes clearing the 1.74m mark in their first eight attempts. But Thangavelu became a part of the leading group after his 10th attempt when he cleared the 1.77m mark along with Lukasz Mamczarz of Poland, China’s Zhiqiang Zhing and Kumar.
In March this year, Thangavelu went onto make a jump of 1.78m and easily qualified for the Rio Paralympics after besting the qualification mark of 1.60m at the men’s T-42 high jump event in Tunisia. It was at that moment that Thangavelu’s confidence soared and he dared to dream that a gold medal wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
This is India’s first medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, and with Bhati’s bronze, India now has two medals in this edition. Thangavelu also became the first Indian high jumper to win a Paralympics gold. HN Girisha was the first Indian high-jumper to win a medal, at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
— Rio 2016 (@Rio2016_en) September 10, 2016
View more at #Hindustan360 .