Today, Deepa Malik became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal!
Deepa bagged silver in the women’s shot-put F-53 event with a throw of 4.61m at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her throw of 4.61m was the best in her six attempts. With the win, she confirmed India’s third medal from the Rio Paralympics. With this historic achievement, Deepa became the first Indian woman ever to clinch a medal at the Paralympic Games. Fatema Nedham of Bahrain won the gold medal with the best throw of 4.76m.
Deepa started off with a throw of 4.26m, then registered 4.49 on her second attempt and 4.41m on the third. On her sixth throw, she recorded a personal best of of 4.61m, which ultimately helped her finish second.
Deepa is a paraplegic, paralyzed from waist down and mother of two and wife of an Army officer. A spinal tumor made walking impossible for her 17 years ago. It took 31 surgeries and 183 stitches between her waist and legs to heal.
After spending six years in the wheelchair, Deepa turned to para-sports.
She is also a motivational speaker and received the Arjuna Award in 2012.
Deepa’s silver is the third medal of the Games. Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati won gold and bronze, respectively, in men’s high jump.