“At the start, the rain was just a drizzle so it was not that difficult, we were doing alright but once it got past 1.80m and the higher jumps, the rain got worse and the conditions were difficult. Especially, the conditions were getting worse for me as my socks got wet, and that made the point of takeoff difficult. That is why I had difficulties at the higher jumps,” said Mariyappan Thangavelu during a virtual press conference.
Thangavelu had missed out on being the flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony because he was identified as close contact with a COVID-19 infected person.
Soaring higher and higher! Mariyappan Thangavelu is synonymous with consistence and excellence. Congratulations t… https://t.co/1UMG7lB1B7
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1630411141000
Talking about missing out on the Opening Ceremony, Thangavelu said: “If the conditions were better, I would have cleared the 1.90m mark, missing out on being the flag-bearer because of a close COVID-19 contact was upsetting but I wanted to win the medal for the country. I trained separately because of isolation rules in the lead-up to the event.”
Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar won silver and bronze respectively in the men’s high jump final at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Tuesday. They were both Sport Class T42.
Thangavelu clinched silver after leaping the mark of 1.86m. This is his second medal at the Games, having already won a gold in Rio 2016. Meanwhile, Sharad Kumar grabbed bronze after scaling his season-best mark of 1.83m.
The Rio 2016 silver medalist, United States of America’s Sam Grewe clinched gold after successfully jumping the 1.88m mark in his third attempt. Another Indian and Rio 2016 bronze medalist Varun Singh Bhati finished seventh with a season-best leap of 1.77m.