Rio de Janeiro: India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu created history on Friday night by winning a gold medal in the men’s high jump T-42 event at the Rio Paralympics.
His compatriot Varun Singh Bhati clinched the bronze medal the same event. While Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89 metres, Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86 metres to finish third.
India’s other medal prospect Sharad Kumar finished at number six. US’s Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal.
The event witnessed a fierce contest with six of the 12 athletes clearing the 1.74m mark in their first eight attempts.
But Mariyappan 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.
He then went into the lead along with Bhati as both managed to clear the 1.83m mark. Kumar however, could not improve his performance and eventually crashed out of medal contention.
Grewe pushed Mariyappan and Bhati to the joint second position by clearing 1.86m to grab the top spot. But both Indians made a strong comeback by equalling the height to share the pole position.
Mariyappan eventually made sure of the gold with an effort of 1.89m in his final attempt while Grewe and Bhati’s finished with best efforts of 1.86m.
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