Para-athlete Deepa Malik, who was the first woman to win a medal at the 2016 Paralympics Games, has reportedly backed out of the upcoming big sporting event, 2020 Olympics due to an injury and is instead planning to take up swimming. Malik won silver in shot put in 2016 Paralympics, however, she said that shot put and javelin in her disability category were not a part of the next Paralympics, which is scheduled to be hosted by Tokyo from August 25.
In an interview, Malik said that she finds it very unfortunate that in 2020 Paralympics and the forthcoming World Championships, her event, shot put and javelin in 53 categories are not there and that the only event being offered in her disability category is discus throw.
The silver medalist attended a convocation ceremony of International Institute of Sports Management in suburban Bandra-Kurla complex, founded by Nilesh Kulkarni, a former spinner for India.
At the event, she elaborated why she is so keen to swim, underlining that she did try practicing discs but her spinal cord injury has prevented her from moving forward. "I did my best to learn discus, which is not been my major sport. I won a bronze at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta (in discus) in my run-up to prepare for 2020 (Paralympics)." she said.
"However, unfortunately, the side jerk with discus is causing injury in my cervical region. My spinal cord injury is very high. So the moment and jerk of discus is not suiting my body. So, I had to take a step down, because of the repetitive injuries due to that," explained 48-year-old Malik. But the para-athlete, with a, never say attitude is keen to take up sea-swimming.
"But, I do not want to stop my fitness and training. And I am thinking of doing swimming this year, back to my roots. Swimming not at the (level) of Paralympics as such, but at the national level. So that I continue to train and touch base with my swimming background. This year I want to make a personal record in sea swimming (but) not in a competitive way and (add) another milestone in my life. It is just that the sea is left and I want to touch the sea waters," she added.
"We need more coaches, physiotherapists, trained ones to handle various disabilities and above all, we need Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR wing of various companies) to come forward and adapt para-sports because it is a main-stream sport, is at par with Olympics," she said.