TOKYO — Sharad Kumar, Indian Paralympian, after clinching the bronze medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in the men’s high jump event, revealed that he was battling through an injury on the eve of the event.

Participating in the Sport Class T63, both the Indian Paralympians, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar, won silver and bronze respectively in the men’s high jump final at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 31.

“Just as at Rio 2016, #IND have athletes in the podium places in Men’s High Jump T63 Final! Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar have won #silver and #bronze medals respectively, taking medal tally into double figures!” tweeted the official account of the Indian Olympic Team.

Sharad landed on the meniscus, and it was dislocated.

“It was very bad for me; I was crying the whole night,” he said.

“I did not even think that I will be able to participate; I spoke to my parents in the morning, saying it is done, and I am being punished for some sin that I have done. I do not know what it is; that is when my brother and few friends told me just go and participate, it does not matter.”

Sharad said he was feeling great because of the injury and every jump was like a war.

“Last night, I cried. I read Bhagavad Gita (one of India’s Hindu scriptures) last night,” he said. “We do not have control over such things, and that is how I entered the arena today. Getting a medal is icing on the cake, but as I entered the arena today, I thanked God that I was able to participate in such a big event.”

“The fact that it was raining during the high jump was very, very dangerous for us athletes. But the fact that we managed to do it, that was something, we just had our tactics on. It was a dangerous situation. I even tried to talk to the officials and say we might have to call it in, but it just went on.”

Mariyappan Thangavelu clinched silver after leaping the mark of 1.86 meters. This is his second medal at the Games, having already won a gold in Rio 2016.

The Rio 2016 silver medalist, United States of America’s Sam Grewe, clinched gold after successfully jumping the 1.88 meters mark in his third attempt. Another Indian and Rio 2016 bronze medalist Varun Singh Bhati finished seventh with a season-best leap of 1.77 meters.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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