Athletics

Wet weather affected my chances: Mariyappan

Mariyappan Thangavelu in action.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

India’s T. Mariyappan and Sharad Kumar, the silver and bronze medallists in the men’s high jump event respectively at the Tokyo Paralympics, said on Tuesday at a virtual press conference that the slow to heavy drizzle made their task quite difficult to perform.

“At the start, there was a mild drizzle, so we were able to jump without much difficulty. But after 1.80m, there was mild to heavy rain and my socks got wet which made my take-off and jump difficult,” said Mariyappan. “I could have jumped 1.90m had there been no rain.”

Sharad remarked that the rain was making things quite dangerous. “It was a dangerous situation to perform under rainy conditions,” he said.

On winning silver, Mariyappan said he felt happy and sad at the same time. “I was upset because I wanted gold but happy that I could win gold (at Rio Paralympics) and silver now,” he said.

The 26-year-old further said not being a flagbearer (he had come in contact with a COVID-19 victim on arrival at Tokyo) was also upsetting, but added that he was determined to do well. “I was in quarantine and had to train in isolation,” Mariyappan said.

Mariyappan’s coach Satyanarayana said fate willed otherwise. “I was confident of Mariyappan winning gold as he was clearing 2m during training. Fate had other plans,” he said.

Sharad said he had a knee injury on the eve of the final. “I cried the whole night as I had damaged my meniscus but my parents, my brother, and friends kept me motivated,” he said.

Sharad said winning a bronze under the circumstances was the icing on the cake. Sharad thanked the Paralympics Council of India (PCI) and Satyanarayana for the help in getting all the documentation done when he was training in Ukraine prior to the event.

Gurcharan Singh, chef-de-mission of the Indian team at Tokyo, also spoke. The virtual conference was organised by PCI and Eurosport.


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 9:05:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/wet-weather-affected-my-chances-mariyappan/article36212513.ece

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