Mariyappan, Sharad win silver and bronze in high jump; India’s Paralympic medal tally hits double digits

TOKYO: Defending champion Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar won a silver and bronze respectively in the men’s high jump T42 event as
India’s medal tally at the Paralympics touched an unprecedented 10, riding on a consistently stupendous track-and-field performance 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 third Indian in fray and 2016 Rio Paralympics bronze-winner, Varun Singh Bhati ended seventh out of nine competitors after he failed to clear the 1.77m mark.
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.
The Indians stayed inside the top three for a majority of the competition and Mariyappan was in contention for a gold as well.
India have so far won two gold, five silver and three bronze medals in the ongoing Games.
Athletics has once again been the country’s happy hunting ground with one gold, four silver and two bronze so far and some more expected before the Games wind up on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, shooter Singhraj Adana fetched a bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol SH1 event.
The 26-year-old Mariyappan was touted as a sure shot medallist 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.
Raised by a single mother after his father abandoned the family, Mariyappan battled abject poverty growing up as his mother worked as a labourer before becoming a vegetable seller.
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 is a two-time Asian Para Games gold-medallist.
The gold medal in track and field has come from javelin thrower Sumit Antil, who smashed his own world record five times during a stunning Games debut performance in the F 64 category (for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position) on Monday.

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