Defending Paralympic champion Mariyappan Thangavelu braved a lingering rain at the National Stadium, in Tokyo, to claim the silver medal in the men’s high jump T42. On the other hand, compatriot Sharad Kumar finished behind him in the same category to bag the bronze and inflate India’s medal tally.
The Indian Paralympic contingent had already bagged seven medals by the end of Monday, in a day that saw the athletes add five to their overall tally. Shooter Singhraj Adhana made it eight early on Tuesday, securing a bronze medal in the P1 - Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1.
With defending champion Mariyappan Thangavelu up later in the day, in the men’s high jump T2 category later on in the day, the tally was expected to inflate further. And, he did not disappoint. In spite of the nagging rain pouring over the National Stadium, in Tokyo, the Indian leaped 1.86m to win a silver medal, just behind Sam Grewe’s jump of 1.88m.
With Tuesday’s triumph, he is now the most successful Indian Paralympian. Meanwhile, India’s Sharad Kumar, also participating in the same event, jumped 1.83m to secure a bronze medal, while Varun Singh Bhati, the third Indian in the event, finished seventh with a jump of 1.77m. With the double wins, India’s overall medal tally now stands at 10, which includes 2 gold, 5 silver, and 3 bronze.
"I could have won gold and claimed the world record. I came here with that aim. But the rain played spoilsport. It was a drizzle initially but after the 1.80m mark, it became heavy. The sock on my other leg (the impaired right leg) got wet and it was difficult to jump," said Mariyappan Thangavelu.