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Paralympics: Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar win silver and bronze in high jump

Thangavelu Mariyappan and Sharad Kumar win silver and bronze respectively in Tokyo Paralympics high jump T42 event.

Defending champion from India Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar bagged the silver and bronze medal respectively in the High Jump T42 Final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday, taking India’s medal tally to 10.

Rio 2016 Paralympics gold-medallist Thangavelu lost to Sam Grewe of USA as he cleared 1.88m mark in his third and final attempt while the Indian high jumper failed in all his three attempts.

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 a labourer before becoming a vegetable seller.

Sharad took the bronze with an effort of 1.83. Hailing from Patna, Bihar, Sharad 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.

Varun Bhati’s campaign, however, ended in disappointment as he failed to clear the 1.80m mark in three attempts. He ended seventh out of nine competitors

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.

India have so far won two gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

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