5 Facts About...Mariyappan Thangavelu

The lowdown on India's Paralympic champion going for high jump gold at London 2017. 03 Jul 2017
Mariyappan Thangavelu - Rio 2016

Mariyappan Thangavelu IND the Gold Medallist in the Men's High Jump - T42 Final in the Olympic Stadium.

ⒸOlympic Information Services OIS.

Mariyappan Thangavelu hit the headlines in his home country of India when he won Paralympic gold in the men’s high jump T42 at Rio 2016 - his first Paralympic Games. He'll be aiming to repeat his winning performance at next week's World Para Athletics Championships.

Five Facts About Mariyappan Thangavelu

1. He was run over by a bus as a young child when on his way to school - causing his right leg to become stunted.

2. 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.

3. After winning the high jump T42 gold medal in Rio, he was showered with gifts - including a sports fund set up by legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

4. The 22-year-old was awarded the Padma Shri this year - India's fourth highest national honour.

5. Film director Aishwaryaa Dhanush is reportedly making a film about Thangavelu's life.