India won Gold and Bronze medal in men’s high jump event at Rio Paralympics. Mariyappan Thangavelu clinched gold and Varun Singh Bhati the bronze medal.
Thangavelu jumped 1.89 metres and made history as he became the first Indian Paralympian high-jumper to win a gold. Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86 metres to finish third.
The 20-year-old Tamil Nadu lad Mariyappan Thangavelu is from Periavadagampatti village, 50kms from Salem where at the age of five, a bus ran over his right leg and left him with a permanent disability. His continuous participation in sports brought him in contact of his present coach Satyanarayana in 2013 at the National Para-Athletics Championships. His coach took him to Bengaluru to train for Rio.
The polio deformity of Varun Singh Bhati didn’t stop him from winning medals. The 21-year old high jumper from Uttar Pradesh took to sports in his school days and went on to compete internationally. He is number two ranked athlete in his category.
Another medal contender from India, Sharad Kumar finished at number six. The silver medal was bagged by USA’s Sam Grewe. As per Sports Ministry’s announcements made earlier, the Indian gold medallists at Paralympics would be awarded Rs 75 lakh, the silver medallists Rs 50 lakh and Rs 30 lakh for Bronze medallists.