In life, you win some, you lose some. The story is no different in sport.
For India, 2016 has been a landmark year, in spite of a largely disappointing performance at the Rio Olympics. Keeping aside the disappointments and the heartbreaks, there were moments to cherish, moments that Indians would love to relive. And it is for these moments that we must appreciate our athletes.
We at Sportskeeda, in an attempt to show our gratitude to the athletes, have compiled a list of India’s top 25 standout talents from the 2016 sporting season, culminating in the crowning of Sportskeeda’s Indian Sportsperson of the Year 2016.
Here are the top 5:
#5 Mariyappan Thangavelu
A year ago, no one knew the name of Mariyappan Thangavelu. And now, he is one of the most popular sporting heroes of this year. The high jumper made India proud at the Rio Paralympic Games by clinching the gold medal, India’s first at the Paralympics since 2004.
Mariyappan had lost his leg when he was only five years old after a disastrous accident. However, he did not let this stand in his way. This year, the 20-year-old jumped a distance of 1.78m in the men’s high jump T-42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia. The A-Qualification Standard for the Rio Paralympics was set at 1.60m and he crossed it with ease.
In Rio, he jumped a distance of 1.89m, a world record, on his way to the gold medal. Mariyappan is currently ranked number one in the world and finds his name 5th on our list.