Mariyappan Thangavelu felicitated by TNPSA

Mariyappan Thangavelu, Rio Olympics gold medallist, was felicitated by Tamil Nadu Para Sports Association here on Wednesday, for getting the Padma Shri award.

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri to paralympic gold medal winner Mariyappan Thangavelu.   -  PTI

Mariyappan Thangavelu, Rio Olympics gold medallist, was felicitated by Tamil Nadu Para Sports Association here on Wednesday, for getting the Padma Shri award.

Giving the welcome address, M.S. Nagarajan, Chairman & Founder, TNPSA described Mariyappan as the “golden son” while praising the high jumper’s coach Satyanarayana Rao in playing an important role in shaping Mariyappan’s career.

“To jump six feet [six feet two inches to be perfect] with (effectively) one leg is just remarkable [and win the gold at Rio]. With just six months of training, Mariyappan won the National championship followed by the gold at the Olympics,” said W.I. Davaram, President of the Tamil Nadu Athletic Association and the chief guest of the function.

Davaram said it was a big suprise as to how Mariyappan mastered Fosbery flop. “His determination to overcome disability is a lesson for the rest of us,” he said. “At this moment, one has to thank the Government of Tamil Nadu for giving Mariyappan an amount of two crore.”

Satyanarayana said at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Mariyappan will definitely win a medal. “There will be a 5-6 medals for India at 2020,” he said.

Thanking TNPA for honouring him, Mariyappan said his winning the gold at Rio and the Padmasri will be an inspiration for para athletes.

Dilip Raj and C. Ananda Jothi, President and Secretary of TNSPA respectively said the Association will do everything in its control to help and support promising para athletes.

“Mariyappan is a role model for everyone. He has proved that if you dream big and practice, you can win,” said Dilip. “We will provide him with all the facilities.”

Jothi said now that Mariyappan will be watched by competitors around the world, he will be “under pressure” and recognising it, TNPSA will help Mariyappan perform well [at 2020 Tokyo Olympics).

Nina Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Savera Hotel, also spoke.