By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): Mariyappan Thangavelu, the 2016 Rio Gold Medalist in the men's high jump High jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu scripts history, strikes gold at Rio Paralympics
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https://www.aninews.in/news/sports/space/high-jumper-mariyappan-thangavelu-scripts-history-strikes-gold-at-rio-paralympics/category, has been selected as the captain of the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, set to be held from August 24 to September 5.
"Mariyappan Thangavelu will lead the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Paralympics," Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) President Deepa Malik told ANI.
She went on to add that there were challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she is happy that the athletes have had good preparations going into the Games.
"PCI is very proud of the fact that despite challenging situations, we have been able to keep our athletes in great physical and mental shape, not let their motivation down. We had continuous contact with them. It has been very challenging from March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We had to make some really bold decisions in the welfare of the athletes. This year's March National Meet was very important. There was a difficult time in getting the trials done, to be able to make the SOP, we want to thank the Sports Authority of India. Secretary sir personally overlooked the arrangements at the JLN Stadium.
"We took extra care to make the trials a world-class affair, we want to give it a feel of an international event. We had provided the athletes with every possible facility. We made sure Covid-19 protocols were strictly followed, the timetable was made in such a way that there was no crowding. This is the first time that trials of the para-athletics were done in such a way," she pointed.
Elaborating further, she said: "A proper selection committee was constituted in which there were representations from all sides. This has been done purely on the ranking system of the IPC. We have made the result sheet looking at everything in mind. Para-sports is looking up, the trials were a world-class event, it was done very well. This was a nice exercise and the athletes needed to have a feel of international level competition. It boosted their confidence, they have not been in competition for a long time because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ajit has almost neared the world-record, Devendra Jhajharia bettered his own record." (ANI)