The 21-year-old Thangavelu cleared a jump of 1.89 metres to strike gold on Friday (September 9). (From Twitter: President, PM, others congratulate Thangavelu)
Thangavelu is the first Indian to win a gold in Paralympics high jump. It was a memorable event for India as another athlete - Varun Singh Bhati took bronze. USA's world champion Sam Grewe took the silver. India's another high jumper Sharad Kumar cleared 1.77 metres but finished 6th.
In case you haven't already seen it. Mariyappan Thangavelu. Saw it 5 times and am still blown by it. Just incredible pic.twitter.com/UdgLNRn3iZ— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 10, 2016
Both Varun and Grewe cleared 1.86 metres but the American took 2nd place on count-back. This is the first time 2 Indians had finished on the podium in the same event.
In Paralympics history, this is India's 3rd gold after Murlikant Petkar (swimming in 1972 Heidelberg, West Germany) and Devendra Jhajharia (javelin throw in 2004 Athens)
India now has two medals - gold and bronze at the ongoing Paralympics. Thangavelu opened India's medal tally.
The T-42 classification is for athletes with lower limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.
At the Rio Olympics 2016, which concluded on August 21, India claimed 2 medals - silver and a bronze.
Shuttler PV Sindhu created history by taking a silver while wrestler Sakshi Malik came back home with a bronze.
Rio Paralympics will conclude on September 18. It started on September 7.