Tokyo Paralympics: Mariyappan Thangavelu wins high jump silver, Sharad Kumar takes bronze

Mariyappan Thangavelu successfully cleared 1.86m while Sharad Kumar managed 1.83m.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by Alexandre Loureiro/ Getty Images

India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu won the silver medal in the men’s high jump T42/T63 class after successfully clearing 1.86m at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Tuesday.

Fellow Indian Sharad Kumar won the bronze medal in the T42 class after clearing 1.83m.

USA’s Sam Grewe (T63 class) won the gold medal after clearing 1.88m.

The third Indian in the final, Varun Singh Bhati - the Rio 2016 Games bronze-medallist - finished seventh after only clearing 1.77m.

This was Mariyappan Thangavelu’s second Paralympic medal - he had won gold at the Rio 2016 Games. The two medals take India’s tally to 10 at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar swiftly cleared the 1.73m, 1.77m, 1.80m and 1.83m marks with their first jumps in each. By this point, both high jumpers were guaranteed medals.

Sharad Kumar then faltered at the 1.86m, failing to clear with any of his three attempts at that mark.

Mariyappan Thangavelu failed with his first two jumps at the 1.86m but was successful with his third attempt. Sam Grewe also took three attempts to clear 1.86m, but he was behind the Indian at this point as he had taken one extra attempt at the 1.73m mark.

Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sam Grewe then competed for the gold medal at the 1.88m mark. The Indian high jumper was unable to clear it with any of his three jumps while the American managed to do it on his third and final attempt, giving him gold.

Sam Grewe - who holds the T63 world record at 1.90m - then tried to go for the world record at 1.91m, but could not clear it with any of his three jumps.

The T42 is a part of the sports class which is designed for athletes with limb deficiencies, like amputations or missing or shortened limbs from birth.

In sports classes 42-44, the legs are affected by the impairment and athletes with a leg deficiency who compete with a prosthesis are classified between T61-64.