Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati continue the winning hall from Rio 2016 for India, bagging two medals in the High Jump event.
"Your strength & spirit is commendable. Keep shining!"
Following the silver and bronze medals India achieved at Rio 2016, they were looking to continue their winning streak at the Paralympics.
Only two days into the event, the country has already surpassed their haul from the Olympics held in August.
Mariyappan Thangavelu has taken the gold medal in the men’s high jump T-42 event reaching an astounding 1.89 metres.
Varun Singh Bhati adds to the medal tally with the bronze at an impressive 1.86 metres.
Thangavelu’s hometown of Periyavadagampatti and many political party leaders are quick to revel in the joy of both athletes’ high jump success.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar tweets his applause:
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 10, 2016
Also offering their gratitude on social media is Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
“India is elated! Congratulations to Mariyappan Thangavelu on winning a gold & Varun Singh Bhati for the bronze at the #Paralympics. #Rio2016”
Thangavelu, India’s first Paralympian Gold medalist since 2004, suffered a permanent injury to his right leg in a bus accident when he was five years old.
Clearly no stranger to adversity, achieving a gold medal at the age of 21 is a huge success story for this young athlete.
Bhati, also 21, is adding to his medal tally for the year, fresh off of gold and silver victories at the IPC Athletics Championships in Dubai and Berlin respectively.
Having contracted Polio at a young age, Bhati has steadily improved his jump height, rising through the ranks and competing at the highest level. He is currently supported by the GoSports Foundation.
With 19 Indian athletes competing at the Rio Paralympics, the country is undoubtedly off to an impressive start.
They will be looking to add to their medal haul in further track and field events as well as shooting and swimming.
Image courtesy of Reuters
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