Deepa Malik predicts 'double digit' haul for India at Tokyo Paralympics

India's best haul of four medals came at Rio 2016 Paralympics. Deepa Malik, the newly elected president of the Paralympic Committee of India, had won silver.

By Utathya Nag

Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal, is confident India’s medal tally at the Tokyo Paralympics next year will be in the double digits.

The 49-year-old from Bhaiswal, Haryana, created history during the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016, clinching the silver medal in the F53 shot put event. She has also won multiple medals in javelin and discus throw at the Asian Para Games.

Deepa Malik has since retired from active sports but is still very much involved with the administrative side of things. The 2012 Arjuna Awardee was elected President of the Paralympic Committee of India earlier this year.

“The sensational thing about Tokyo next year will be India bagging Paralympics medals in double digits,” Deepa Malik said during an Instagram Live chat with table tennis player Mudit Dani.

Deepa Malik’s comments come at a time when Para sports in India has grabbed considerable public attention. Deepa believes her prediction is in line with the steady progression of Para sports in recent years.

“At Rio, we had doubled the medals (from the London 2012 Paralympics). We had two gold, a silver and a bronze.

“In 2018 (Asian Para Games), we were a squad of 194 and won 72 medals. It has already set the benchmark,” Deepa said.

India’s tally of four medals at Rio was the country’s joint best-ever medal haul at the Paralympics. Indian Paralympians won four at the 1984 edition too with two silver and two bronze medals, but no golds.

India at the Tokyo Paralympics

Originally scheduled for this year, the Tokyo Paralympic Games had to be postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is set to start from August 24 and will end on September 5. The Olympics in Tokyo is scheduled from July 23.

With 22 quota places already confirmed and more expected before the extended qualification window ends, India is set to see a record participation at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

A 19-member Indian contingent had taken part in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.