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Tokyo Paralympics: Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar win silver and bronze in high jump | XtraTime

Tokyo Paralympics: Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar win silver and bronze in high jump | XtraTime

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India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu won silver in the men’s high jump T42 event on Tuesday at Tokyo Paralympics.

Xtra Time Web Desk: Defending champion Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar won a silver and bronze respectively in the men”s high jump T42 event on Tuesday. Mariyappan cleared 1.86m while American gold winner Sam Grewe succeeded in soaring above 1.88m in his third attempt. Kumar took the bronze with an effort of 1.83.

The T42 classification is for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs. The athletes compete in a standing position.

India have so far won two gold, five silver and three bronze medals in the ongoing Games.

The 26-year-old Mariyappan was touted as a sure shot medal for India after rising to fame with his gold in the Rio Games five years ago. The Tamil Nadu athlete suffered permanent disability in his right leg after it was crushed under a bus when he was only 5. The doctors had recommended amputation of his leg but his mother Saroja decided against it.

His father abandoned the family long back, and Mariyappan battled abject poverty growing up as his resolute mother worked as a labourer before becoming a vegetable seller. Mariyappan was training at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bangalore under coach Satyanarayana prior to the Paralympics.

Kumar, who hails from Patna, Bihar, suffered a paralysis in his left leg as a two-year-old after being administered a spurious polio vaccine. He was training in Ukraine for over two years prior to the Games under foreign coach Nikitin Yevhen at full cost to the central government. The government also assisted him in getting back to India from Ukraine during the COVID-19 restrictions.

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