Rio Paralympics: Deepa Malik wins silver in shot put

Deepa Malik scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympics. Her effort of 4.61m in her sixth throw earned her a silver in the Rio Paralympics on Monday.

Paralympics Deepa Malik India flag silver medal Rio shot put

Deepa Malik holds the tricolour after winning the silver medal in the women's shot put F53 athletics event during the Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.   -  AP

Deepa Malik secured a silver medal with a personal best throw of 4.61m in the women’s shot put –F53 final at the Rio Paralympics on Monday. It was India's third medal in Rio de Janeiro after Thangavelu Mariyappan and Varun Bhati gifted India a gold and a silver in the high jump T-42 event on Saturday (IST).

Deepa Malik, a mother of two, is the first Indian woman to secure a Paralympics medal. India, which made its Paralympic Games debut in 1968, have bagged an overall total of 11 medals including three gold, four silver and an equal number of bronze medals.

Deepa will receive a cash award of Rs. 4 crore under Haryana Sports Scheme for her feat.

The 45-year-old Arjuna awardee, who was paralysed from waist down after being diagnosed with spinal tumour, is also an Asian record holder in women's javelin throw and has registered her name twice in the Limca Book of Records, once for crossing a 1 km stretch of the Yamuna river against the current in 2008, and then again for covering 58 km by riding a special bike in 2013.

After her latest achievement, an ecstatic Deepa said "It feels incredible to fulfil a lifelong ambition. My preparations were really good and I improved tremendously this year. I gave my personal best at the Trials in July and furthered that here now in Rio. It is an extremely satisfying feeling and a big thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years. This is our third medal now in Rio and I sincerely hope people back home wake up and acknowledge the potential in Para sports in India."

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Fatema Nedham secured the gold with an effort of 4.76m while Dimitra Korokida of Greece took the bronze.

After bagging the silver, an excited Deepa said she wants to use the medal to support women with disabilities in India. The 45-year-old, who is the oldest in the Indian contingent in Rio to win a medal, called it a “proud moment” for her and the family.

“I want to use this medal to support women with disabilities in India. This journey has been wonderful for me and my entire family, I am proud to be the oldest athlete in the team and win a medal,” Deepa said.

The multifaceted woman, who is also an active rally driver, was recently named one of the 12 change-makers by NITI Aayog as part of their 'Women Transforming India' campaign.