HomeKreedOn CandidsMaryappan Thangavelu dreams of Gold in Paris Paralympics 2024

Maryappan Thangavelu dreams of Gold in Paris Paralympics 2024

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Introduction

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Maryappan Thangavelu is an Indian Para-high jumper (T-42 category) who clinched the gold medal in Rio Paralympics and the silver in Tokyo Paralympics (T-63 category) in 2020. He was conferred Arjuna and Padma Shri Awards in 2017. Later he got the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award in 2020. Maryappan the 27-year–old high jumper was also chosen as the flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. But he had to be replaced at the last moment after being exposed to a Covid-19 career. After winning silver in Tokyo, Maryappan expressed disappointment saying that he would have won the gold medal if the rain had not played spoilsport. Maryappan is only the third Indian Para-athlete after Joginder Singh Bedi and Devendra Jhajharia who has won multiple medals in Paralympics.

The Journey of Maryappan Thangavelu

Mariyappan was born in a remote village in Salem district Periyavadagampatti. At the age of only five years, Maryappan had to face a severe accident. A bus ran over his right leg when he was going to school, and below the knee, it had to be amputated. After a 17-year legal battle, the family received financial compensation out of which half was spent on legal expenses. In fact, they had to even take a loan for medical expenses.

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Maryappan was brought up by his single mother Saroja who used to be a daily wage laborer and later took to selling vegetables after she started suffering from chest pain. Maryappan was fond of playing volleyball in his school days. Speaking over the phone from Bangalore, Mariyappan stated,

“I still play volleyball and it is part of my training also. Volleyball helps me a lot to develop reflexes and increases strength while jumping.”

But when his physical education teacher R Rajendran suggested him to switch to the high jump he did not think twice. He excelled at the sport soon and started winning competitions. After being trained by K. Elamparithi in the early days in Salem, Maryappan later shifted to Bangalore and his coach is Sathya Narayana.

The Target of Maryappan Thangavelu

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Maryappan Thangavelu who is presently preparing himself for the Asian Games next year has set a mark of 2 meters. Although according to his coach Sathya Narayana it will be very difficult for Maryappan to touch the 2-meter mark, the high jumper clarified,

“I have increased training hours and am doing some kind of special training. I feel I will be able to touch the 2-meter mark and win the gold medal in the Asian Games although my actual aim is to win the gold medal in Paris Olympics in 2024.”

The Dream of Maryappan Thangavelu

Maryappan Thangavelu who also is an appointed coach at the SAI Bangalore has come up with a lot of struggle since his childhood to become a successful athlete. Today he has been able to give rebirth of his financial status as well as his family also after having received worthy cash incentives from several organizations following his success in the Tokyo Paralympics. But he has not forgotten those days. That is the reason Maryappan has some plans to pay back to the sport.

He said,

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“I have plans to introduce a sports academy in Tamil Nadu. The location has not yet been specifically planned. After the Paris Olympics in 2024, I will make a project on this academy and approach different institutions for financial assistance. I have only decided that along with Para-athletes, the able athletes can also join this academy.” 


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