Deepa Malik asks for equal treatment to para-sports
New Delhi [India], March 20 (ANI): Paralympic silver-medalist Deepa Malik has said that it is the time when para-sports should be treated with equal respect as winning international medals in such sports is yet more challenging than the other abled-bodied sports. "There's always a dilemma in para-sports. We never know when our events could get changed or when we could be combined in other categories under point systems. So winning an international medal in para-sports is a little more difficult and challenging and unpredictable than abled bodied sports. So para-sports should now be respected," Malik told ANI. Malik won a silver medal in the shot put at 2016 Paralympic Games, but competed in discus and javelin throw at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai. Talking on similar lines, she said, "It is very challenging to prepare oneself for a new event. Transition from one event to other is really tough for athletes in severe disabilities category to prepare for a minimum qualification standard (MQS)." However, she added, "The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) combines various categories so that every athlete gets fair chance." The Indian para-athlete recently top-scored in the discus throw in the Asia Ranking 53 category and secured second place in the Asian Games combined category event 51/52/53 at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2018 in Dubai. She also won gold in the F53/54 javelin at the event. After throwing her career-best 8.01 meters, Malik also qualified for the Asian Para Games 2018 to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in October. Malik said she was happy to secure medals in the two sports, despite they were new to her. "I had worked on my fitness for the tournaments bud barely had four weeks to work on my skills. I am happy that the event was success for me. I retained gold in javelin and got top Asia ranking. These rankings might change as this is just the start of the calendar year but I am glad that I took a new sport and threw 8 meters," Malik said. She added, "I am very inspired to learn discuss now. This time I just used my power but I refine my skills then I am sure that I can get a good score." "These qualifications made me prove people that I still have that power [to win medals]," the para-athlete said. Malik added that she was not much active in sports in the past year as she was enjoying her Olympic medal and also had some family issues. Talking about the 2020 Paralympics, she said, "I will strategise my training and will add more expert coaches. My main aim will to work on my skills." "It is my dream to change the colour of my Olympic medal from silver to gold," she concluded.
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