Para-athlete Deepa Malik (file image)
Para-athlete Deepa Malik (file image)

Indian athletes' performance in Tokyo has increased awareness about para-sports: Deepa Malik

By Vipul Kashyap | Updated: Sep 07, 2021 21:19 IST


New Delhi [India], September 7 (ANI): Deepa Malik, the President of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) feels Indian athletes' outstanding show in the recently concluded Paralympics have further increased the awareness about para-sports.
Indian contingent on Sunday finished their campaign at the Paralympic Games at an all-time high by securing a total of 19 medals which includes 5 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze medals.
"Medals in Paralympics have also increased the responsibility. We have not only stamped our authority on the field but we have also increased awareness about para-sports," Deepa Malik told ANI.
Prior to the start of the Tokyo Paralympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had interacted with the para-athletes. The PCI chief praised PM Modi and thanked all the coaches who helped the Indian contingent achieve a historic feat.
"I want to give credit to PM Modi as he joined our movement. He also interacted with the para-athletes and hence 135 crore Indians joined us," Malik said.
"I want to thank all coaches, athletes who won medals and performed well in the Paralympics. I also thank the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for its support.
"We were dominant in athletics but this time we performed well in Table Tennis, Shooting and Archery as well," she added.
Further speaking about how more para-athletes could be helped, Deepa said, "I feel we need to make a helpline centre where people (differently-abled) who wants to play sports and represent India in the tournaments to spread awareness. Also, more coaches should be roped in for para-sports."
India had sent its biggest ever contingent of 54 para-athletes across as many as 9 sporting disciplines at the Games.
Since making its first appearance at the Paralympics in 1968, India had won 12 medals in total till the 2016 Rio edition.
The country has now massively improved upon that entire number by 7 medals at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 alone. (ANI)

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