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Rio Paralympics: Thangavelu wins first gold for India, Bhati picks up bronze

India's Mariyappan Thangavelu (L) and Bhati Varun Singh celebrate their gold and bronze medals. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 10, 2016, 04.52 AM (IST)
Day two at the Rio Paralympics saw Indian athlete, Mariyappan Thangavelu, win India's first gold in the men's high jump T-42 event on Friday.

While another Indian Varun Singh Bhati picked up a bronze for the same.

Thangavelu clinched gold with a jump of 1.89m while Bhati scaled 1.68, winning a bronze India's state-run news channel Doordarshan said.

India's sports ministry announced a cash prize of Rs 75 lakh for Mariyappan Thangavelu and R 30 lakh for Varun Singh Bhati.

T42 is a disabilty sport classification for differently-abled athletes with single above the knee amputations or a disability that is comparable.

After Paralympians Murlikant Petkar (Swimming in 1972) and Devendra Jhajharai (Javelin Throw in 2004), Thangavelu is the third Indian to win gold at the Paralympic Games.

Thangavelu is from a small village, Periavadagampatti, 50 km from the town of Salem in southern Tamil Nadu state.

A bus accident at the age of five left him permanently disabled.

Varun Singh Bhati was born deformed, diagnosed with polio in one leg. The 21-year-old from the northern Uttar Pradesh state came fifth at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Korea and a gold at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championships.

(WION with inputs from dna)

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