Mariyappan Thangavelu - Rio 2016

Mariyappan Thangavelu


At Rio 2016, Thangavelu won India’s first Paralympic gold medal since 2004 with victory in the men’s high jump T42. His achievements and life are now being made in to a film titled “Mariyappan” by director Aishwaryaa Dhanush.

He qualified for Rio in March 2016 clearing a height of 1.78m at the Grand Prix in Tunis, Tunisia. He secured Paralympic gold in Rio with a jump of 1.89m, an Asian record.

Encouraged to take up sport by his physical education teacher, Thangavelu got into athletics while he was a student at school in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He injured his leg at age nine when a bus rolled over it on his way to school, crushing it below the knee. The accident stunted the growth of his leg.

In 2015, Thangavelu completed a bachelor's degree in business administration from AVS College of Arts and Science.


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's High Jump T42 Final Round 2016-09-09 1
Dubai 2019 World Para Athletics Championships (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's High Jump T63 Final 1 2019-11-14 3
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Tokyo, Japan)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's High Jump T63 Final 2021-08-31 2