India may have settled with a silver in the recently concluded Rio Olympics but its dream of winning gold has been realised in the Paralympic games.
Mariyappan Thangavelu today created history by becoming the first Indian to clinch the gold medal in the men’s T42 High Jump event while Varun Bhati also bagged bronze medal in the same event.
Heartfelt congratulatory messages are pouring in from around the country for the gold-medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu and bronze winner Varun Bhati of the Rio Paralympic Games.
Notably, it is third Olympic gold by an Indian in the history of Paralympic games. Earlier, Murlikant Petkar has won gold in swimming in 1972 Heidelberg games and Devendra Jhajharia in Javelin throw in 2004 Athens games.
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to India's lone individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, everyone is lauding the paralympic winners for achieving this commendable feat
"India is elated! Congratulations to Mariyappan Thangavelu on winning a gold & Varun Singh Bhati for the bronze at the #Paralympics," Modi tweeted for the duo.
Tamil Nadu government has announced a cash reward of Rs 2 crore for the gold medallist Thangavelu .
Under the Sports Ministry's Cash Award Scheme, Mariyappan will get Rs 75 lakh and Bhati will be presented Rs 30 lakh for their feat. The prize money is at par with the medal winners from last month's Olympic Games as was announced by the Ministry before the Games.
Virendra Sehwag paid tribute to the athletes his own way.
मर्याप्पन का 5 साल की उम्र में ट्रक के नीचे आकर घुटनों के नीचे का हिस्सा कुचल गया था!जज्बे ने ये कारनामा करवाया।नमन pic.twitter.com/DDR26idh1I— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 10, 2016
Thangavelu won the yellow metal with his best jump of 1.89 metres, while Bhati's best effort of 1.86m fetched him the bronze. The silver medal in this event went to USA's Sam Grewe who also registered the same mark of 1.86 metres.
Bindra welcomed Thangavelu to the gold medal club while congratulating the duo for their feat.
"Mariyappan joins the gold medal club, welcome! Kudos 2 @GoSportsVoices for aiding Varun Bhati who won bronze! Champs," he tweeted.
Rio Olympics bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik said the two are an inspiration for other athletes.
"Indian sports mein prerna ki kami nahin hai (there is no dearth of inspiration in Indian sports). Congrats Mariyappan Thangavelu aur Varun Bhati aapke gold aur bronze ke liye. #Paralympics," she tweeted.
Indian sports mein prerna ki kami nahin hai.Congrats Mariyappan Thangavelu aur Varun Bhati aapke gold aur bronze ke liye. #Paralympics— Sakshi Malik (@SakshiMalik) September 10, 2016
Filmstar Amitabh Bachchan also congratulated the duo. "T2375 -#Paralympics joy for India .. Gold & Bronze for Thangavelu and Bhatti in high jump ! COME ON INDIA !!!," he tweeted.
"Never seen anything more inspirational than this. Congrats Mariyappan Thangavelu #Paralympics #gold," added former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha.
Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh hoped that the two athletes would be accorded the same honours that were bestowed on Olympic medallists P V Sindhu and Sakshi.
"Hope india give the same prize money and honour to Paralympic athletes ???? #Rio2016Paralympics," he said.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also congratulated Thangavelu and Bhati.
My congratulations to Mariyappan & Bhati for Gold & Bronze at Rio #paralympics. U hv made nation proud!— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 10, 2016
Here are other tributes