Wheelchair-bound paraplegic athlete Deepa Malik is aiming to win a medal ahead of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, with an eye on the mega event.
The 41-year-old wants to test her ground with the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport (IWAS) World Games 2011 beginning Friday in Sharjah.
‘I am going to take part in field throw events,’ the mother of two, who won the shot put silver in the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in New Zealand in January, told IANS.
Deepa will be participating in the F-53 category in which the player’s shoulders are weak but elbows and fingers have strength.
Deepa, who is undergoing training in shot put and javelin, is among the physically challenged players short-listed for training by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the London Games. She shifted her base to Delhi from Pune for her training and treatment.
Deepa was paralysed from waist down and bound to her wheelchair for 12 years after three spinal tumour surgeries in 1999, but that couldn’t rob her of her zeal.
‘I want to prove that the world doesn’t come to a standstill if one loses the ability to use the limbs. We are grateful to the ministry of sports, the SAI and our federation (Paralympic Committee of India) for enabling us to participate in the IWAS games,’ she said.
Deepa had won the bronze medal in javelin at the 2010 Asian Para Games in Guangzhou in China and won the silver in backstroke swimming at the Far East and South Pacific Games held in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, the second biggest games for the physically challenged in the world.
She was also the first ever paraplegic in India to participate in the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya – one of the world’s highest and toughest motor rallies – in 2009.
Deepa, the wife of a retired army officer, also plans to conquer the Himalayas.
Her name featured in the Limca Book of Records for crossing a one-kilometre stretch of the river Yamuna against the current in 2008 and for her 58-km ride on a special bike in 2009, organised by the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India.
Deepa is the only woman player in the nine-member Indian contingent for the IWAS World Games.
The other members are Jagseer Singh, Sandeep Singh Mann, Amit Kumar, Balwan Singh, all athletes; Prasanta Karmakar, Sharath M. Gayakwad and Raghavendra Anvekar, all swimmers; and power lifter Farman Basha.
An official communique of the Paralympic Committee of India said the medal winners of the Para Asian Games have been selected for the IWAS World Games.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)