Mariyappan set to be India’s flag-bearer in Tokyo Paralympics 2020 | Extra sports activities Information – Occasions of India

MUMBAI: Mariyappan Thangavelu, the 2016 Rio Gold medalist in the men’s high jump category, has been named as the captain of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, set to be held from August 25-September 5.
In the Rio 2016 Games, Mariyappan jumped to limelight by leaping 1.89 metres, making it a landmark moment for India at the Games. As a mark of his achievement, the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) has decided to make him India’s flag-bearer at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Sources in PCI confirmed to TOI that a strong contingent of 24 players, including four female athletes, has been finalised in athletics for the Games.
After his form dipped for a while, T Mariyappan again showed some spark and cleared 1.86m during the qualification trials held in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Mr Satyanarayana, who has been instrumental in rise of Mariyappan, exuded confidence that this time, India has a chance of clinching all the three medals in the F-42 category. In the Rio2016 Games, India’s Varun Singh Bhati also finished at the podium with a bronze medal.
This time, India are hopeful of bettering their last Games’ tally of four medals (2 gold, 1 Silver, 1 bronze) and has set a target to win 10 medals in Tokyo. Devendra Jhajhariya and Sandeep Chaudhary have also qualified for their respective javelin throw events with world record throws. However, since these records came in a trial event, they weren’t approved. Still, the fine form that the athletes have shown, gives the contingent plenty of hope for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
Mariyappan was born in Periavadagampatti village in Salem district of Tamil Nadu. He was one of the six children (four brothers and a sister). His father reportedly abandoned the family early on, and his mother, Saroja, raised her children as a single mother, carrying bricks as a labourer until she became a vegetable seller, earning Rs. 100 a day.
At the age of five, Mariyappan suffered permanent disability in his right leg when he was run over by a drunk bus driver while walking to school; the bus crushed his leg below the knee, causing it to become stunted. Despite this massive setback, he completed secondary schooling. He once said, “I didn’t see myself as different from able-bodied kids.”

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