Important Note : This is the 3rd gold by an Indian in the history of Paralympic Games after swimmer Murlikant Petkar in 1972 and javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia in 2004.
About Mariyappan Thangavelu :
- He was born in the Periavadamgatti village, 50 km away from Salem, his mother sells vegetable for a living.
- When he was five, his right knee was crushed after his right leg came under the wheels on his way to school. That left him with a permanent disability.
- In his first competitive event against able-bodied athletes aged 14, he surprised everybody and came second.
- Winning is not new to Mariyappan Thangavelu. The Tamil Nadu athlete bagged a gold medal at the IPC Tunisia Grand Prix when he jumped his PB of 1.78m which was enough for him to book a berth at theParalympics. The 'A' qualification standard is 1.60m.
- In the Rio Paralympics finals, he fetched the Gold finishing with a jump of 1.89m compared to Sam Grewe’s and Varun Bhati’s jump of 1.86m.