Deepa Malik, one of the key figures from India’s contingent for the Rio Paralympics 2016, on Monday bagged a silver medal in the women’s shot put final event.
The 45-year-old athlete from Haryana’s Sonipat district won the medal in the shot-put F-53 final by throwing her personal best of 4.61m at the Olympic Stadium (Engenhao) in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
By this feat, she became the country’s first ever woman to win a medal at the Paralympics.
Fatema Nedham of Bahrain won the gold medal with the best throw of 4.76m while Dimitra Korokida of Greece bagged the bronze medal with a throw of 4.28m.
This was Deepa’s 11th overall Indian Medal. She has also won medals in swimming at international competitions.
Deepa, the first Indian female athlete at the Paralympics, was confined to a wheelchair in 1999 owing to a spinal tumour which made her paralysed from waist down.
Deepa’s Silver was India’s third medal at the prestigious quadrennial event. Earlier, Thangavelu Mariyappan and Varun Singh Bhati won gold and bronze respectively in the high jump T-42 event.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Deepa on her amazing feat, saying, ”
Well done @DeepaAthlete! Your silver at the #Paralympics makes the nation very proud. Congratulations. #Rio2016″
Mariyappan became India’s third ever Paralympic gold medalist after Murlikant Petkar in 50m freestyle swimming at the 1972 Games in Germany and Devendra Jhajharia in javelin throw F44/46 category at Athens 2004.