The accolades have started pouring in for India's Mariyappan Thangavelu, who created history on Friday by winning gold in the men's high jump T-42 event at the Rio Paralympics, with Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa announcing a Rs 2 crore award for the athlete.
"I was delighted to learn that you have won a Gold Medal in Paralympics currently being held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. I understand that this is the first time an Indian has won a gold medal in the High Jump event in the Paralympics," a press release on the official Twitter account of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) read.
— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) September 10, 2016
"I am very happy to inform you that I have decided that the Government of Tamil Nadu will award you a cash prize of Rs 2 crores on par with Olympic Gold Medal winners from Tamil Nadu," added the release.
The 20-year-old clinched gold with a leap of 1.89m, with Varun Singh Bhati winning bronze in the same event with a jump of 1.86m. Sharad Kumar, India's other prospect in men's high jump, finished on a disappointing sixth. US's Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal.
The event witnessed a fierce contest with six of the 12 athletes clearing the 1.74m mark in their first eight attempts. But Mariyappan became a part of the leading group after his 10th attempt when he cleared the 1.77m mark along with Lukasz Mamczarz of Poland, China's Zhiqiang Zhing and Kumar.
He then went into the lead along with Bhati as both managed to clear the 1.83m mark. Kumar however, could not improve his performance and eventually crashed out of medal contention.
Grewe pushed Mariyappan and Bhati to the joint second position by clearing 1.86m to grab the top spot. But both Indians made a strong comeback by equalling the height to share the pole position.
With inputs from IANS