Sportstar Aces Awards: Deepa Malik named parathlete Sportswoman of the Year

Deepa Malik won gold in the F53/54 javelin event at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai and followed that up with bronze in the discus and the javelin throw at the Para Asian Games.

Deepa Malik receives the Sportstar Aces award in paraathlete Sportswoman of the Year category.   -  Vivek Bendre

Deepa Malik has been adjudged the Sportswoman of the Year (Parathlete) at the Sportstar Aces Awards supported by Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Thursday.

"Thank you for validating my journey. It is going on. When I joined the world of athletics at 40, sports became the medium that erased all my disability," Malik said after receiving the award jury member M. M. Somaya, a former India hockey captain.

Malik became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal when she clinched a silver in the shot put in Rio in 2016. The 48-year-old Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee continued to impress in the next two years after that feat.

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In 2018, she won the gold medal in the F53/54 javelin event at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai to be ranked No. 1 in the world. At the Para Asian Games, she followed that up with bronze medals in the discus and the javelin throw to cap off yet another successful year.

Former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M.M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian long-jumper Anju Bobby George selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The Aces Awards are an effort to highlight the untold stories of struggle, fierce dedication and selfless work behind an athlete’s ascension, irrespective of the popularity of the sport.

The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.