Paralympics 2016 gold-medallist Thangavelu Mariyappan returns to home


Chennai: Thangavelu Mariyappan, who won a gold medal at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, returned home to a hero's welcome in Chennai on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu Ministers for School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, K Pandiarajan, Rural Industries Minister P Benjamin along with several senior government officials received Mariyappan at the airport here, officials said.

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Mariyappan, hailing from Periyavadagampatti village near Salem in western Tamil Nadu, won the gold in the T-42 High Jump event with a best effort of 1.89m, leaving behind world champion Sam Grewe of the USA, who registered 1.86 m.

The T-42 classification is for athletes with lower limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.

Mariyappan, who was five when his right leg was crushed by a speeding bus, joined Murlikant Petkar (1972, swimming) and Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016, javelin throw) in the Indian Paralympics gold club. Hailing his feat, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had announced a cash prize of Rs. 2 crore for Mariyappan.

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