T Mariyappan, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was felicitated on Friday by the Tamil Nadu government with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam presenting him with a cheque for Rs 2 crore. The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association also received a cheque for Rs 2 crore for the annual ATP Chennai Open.
Mariyappan, 21, who cleared 1.89 m to win the high jump event at Rio Paralympics, hails from Salem district in Tamil Nadu.
He was only five when his right leg was crushed by a speeding bus while he was on his way to school. However, that did not stop him from achieving his dream and became only the third Indian to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. The late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had announced in September that the athlete would be rewarded for his exceptional performance.
Panneerselvam also handed a Rs 2 crore cheque to the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, represented by its president MA Alagappan, as the government's contribution for the ATP Chennai Open that is scheduled to kick off on Jan 2. The TN government is the 'Lead Platinum Sponsor'of the tournament, that started way back in 1997, an official release said.
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