Yesterday, India grabbed a gold and bronze medal in the men’s T43 high jump. Mariyappan Thangavelu came away with gold on a best jump of 1.89 meters while Bhati Varun Singh claimed bronze with 1.86 meters. The medals put India in twenty-fourth place on the overall medal count.
The Tamil native Thangavelu has previously had a lot of success at the international level after only making his international début last year, claiming gold at IWAS World Junior Games 2015 in the men’s F44 event. Thangavelu cleared the bar set at 1.77 meters on his way to first. The 21-year-old claimed another gold at the 2016 Grand Prix in Tunis, with a jump of 1.78 meters.
21-year-old Varun Singh is also a relatively new representative for India, making his international début in 2014 at a competition at the 2014 Open Championships in Beijing where he claimed gold. Later that year, he competed in the 2014 Asian Para Games where he finished fifth with a jump of 1.65 meters. At last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships, he also finished fifth with a huge improvement in height at 1.75 meters. The bronze medalist took up sports in school after encouragement from his physical education teacher, and then started specializing in the high jump in 2010 while a student at St Joseph Senior Secondary School.