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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics: Mariyappan and Sharad win silver and bronze in High Jump

Three Indians were in contention to win a medal in the Men's T63 High Jump event held today

Sharad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati
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Sharad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati

By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 2021-08-31T18:02:14+05:30

The High Jump event in the mens T63 event saw Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar and Varun Bhati take centre stage. While Mariyappan was a favourite to win gold, both Sharad and Varun had relative experience in High jump as well which gave them high chances of winning medals as well.

All the three jumpers were to begin their first jump from 1.73m. Sharad Kumar cleared 1.73m in his first attempt with ease. Mariyappan Thangavelu also cleared 1.73m in his very first attempt. It was Varun Bhati however who fell at the second hurdle. He had already cleared 1.69m but failed to clear 1.73m and had to go again.
Disaster struck in his second attempt at 1.73m as he failed to clear it despite coming agonisingly close to doing so. His 3rd attempt was all that he had left and he made it past the bar with relative ease and no pressure. At this point, there were 3 Indians out of a total of 7 competitors in the remaining field.
Post 1.73m the competitors moved on to 1.77m. Mariyappan Thangavelu came through with a clear attempt at 1.77m. This was followed by Sharad Kumar and Varun Bhati both of whom cleared the 1.77m mark with their first attempt itself. The rain had started beating down before Mariyappan Thangavelu crossed the 1.80m mark. Sharad Kumar cleared the same height just after him before Varun Bhati faltered and had to go again. His second attempt was also a fail and was another close call where his legs just touched the bar as he went over. Unfortunately, the former Rio bronze medalist was knocked out in his third and final attempt.
At this point, there were only 5 competitors left with two Indians also in contention. For the 1.83m mark, Mariyappan Thangavelu went first and cleared it in his first attempt. Sharad Kumar followed suit and also jumped over the bar with ease. It was an Indian show for all to watch the competition was narrowing down gradually. The American high Jumper Frech Ezra and Polish jumper Lukasz Mamczarz both failed at 1.83m.
This assured Indian of atleast two medals in High Jump. Mariyappan failed the first attempt at 1.86m. Sharad Kumar failed his first attempt as did American athlete Sam Grewe. The second attempt of Mariyappan did not go as plan as he hit the bar just as he crossed it with his upper body. American Sam Grewe also failed to cross the bar this time. It was an open competition for all athletes at this point. Sharad also had a minor blunder in his second attempt as he jumped straight into the bar.
It was Mariyappan Thangavelu who finally cleared the 1.86m mark on his 3rd attempt. Fate had similar plans for Sam Grewe who cleared the 1.86m mark in his 3rd attempt. It was Sharad Kumar who fell at the final hurdle when he failed to clear and had to settle for Bronze despite an outstanding performance.
The next height was 1.88m for the remaining two competitors. Mariyappan failed his first attempt as did American Sam Grewe. The second attempt was another close call for him as he had made it past but a lower body touch moved the bar. Sam Grewe failed again in his 2nd attempt at 1.88m.
The worst fears came in the final attempt of Mariyappan when he failed to clear the 1.88m mark. It was Sam Grewe who capitalised on the opportunity and won Gold when he cleared the 1.88m mark.
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