Tamil Nadu on Saturday announced cash prize of Rs 2 crore to Mariyappan Thangavelu who won gold medal at the Rio Paralympics.
Congratulating the athlete from Salem on becoming the first Indian to win gold in High Jump event with a leap of 1.89 meters, chief minister Jayalalithaa said “you have done both the nation and Tamil Nadu proud. Your achievement, overcoming several obstacles and hurdles, will inspire more and more children and youth to overcome adversities and to participate and strive for greater achievements. Kindly accept my heartiest congratulations on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu on your splendid achievement.”
India’s Varun Bhati’s best jump of 1.86 m got him the bronze in the event while USA’s Sam Grewe, also with a best jump of 1.86m, took the silver.
Thangavelu will also get Rs 75 lakh and Bhati will be presented Rs 30 lakh from the Centre under the sports ministry’s cash award scheme. 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.
Badminton player PV Sindhu and grappler Sakshi Malik, medallists at the Rio Olympics along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who finsihed in fourth place in artistic gymnastics, were conferred with the country’s highest sporting honour, Khel Ratna, apart from being presented with a slew of awards, in cash and kind, announced by various state governments.
Sindhu, the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal, will get over Rs 13 crore while Sakshi will be richer by around Rs 5 crore.
The three Olympians along with Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand were also presented with BMWs by the Hyderabad District Badminton Association.