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Deepa Malik became the first woman from India who achieved a Paralympic gold in the shot put event in Rio.

The Paralympic Games are a major international sporting event for athletes with impairments. The Paralympics are divided into Winter Games and Summer Games that alternate every two years. The Paralympics take place shortly after the conclusion of Olympics and since the late 20th century, the Paralympics have been hosted in the same city as the Olympic Games. The host of the 2020 Olympic Games was Tokyo; hence the 2020 Paralympic Games is also hosted by Tokyo. The Games begun on the 25th of August, Tuesday and will end on the 6th of September, Monday. The Paralympic Games have grown in both size and variety throughout the years. According to Britannica, The Paralympics in 1960 hosted 400 athletes from 23 countries participating in eight sports. Just over 50 years later, at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, more than 4,200 athletes representing 164 countries participated in 20 sports.

After the finest performance at the Olympics, it's the time of the Indian Paralympians. India first competed in the Summer Paralympic Games in 1968, then again in 1972, and then not again until the 1984 Games. After that, India has competed in every edition of the Summer Games. It has never competed in the Paralympic Winter Games.

Paralympic players with PM Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Naremdra Modi with the Indian Contingent for Rio 2016 Paralympics. Wikimedia

Here is a brief history of the medals won by Indian Paralympians:

1984, New York (US), Stoke Mandeville (UK) Paralympics:

Joginder Singh Bedi took silver in shotput event and bronze within the discus and javelin throws. Bhimrao Kesarkar won silver in the men's javelin throw event. Bhimrao Kesarkar won silver in the men's javelin throw event.

2004, Athens Paralympics:

Davendra Jhajharia won gold in the men's javelin throw at the Athens. He established a new world record in Athens with a throw of 62.15 meters. In the 56kg men's power lifting event, Rajinder Singh Rahelu participated. By lifting a weight of 157.5kg, he won bronze.

2012, London Paralympics:

With a leap of 1.74 metres, Girisha Nagarajegowda won silver in the men's high jump.

2016, Rio Paralympics:

In the men's javelin throw event in Rio, Jhajharia threw the spear 63.97 metres, becoming the first Indian to win two gold medals at the Paralympics. Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold in the high jump at Rio, leaping 1.89 metres. With a best throw of 4.61 metres, Deepa Malik became the first woman from India who achieved a Paralympic gold in the shot put event in Rio also, Varun Singh Bhati earned the bronze medal in the high jump event at the Rio Olympics, joining compatriot Mariyappan Thangavelu on the podium.

Keywords: Paralympics, India, Tokyo 2020, Rio Paralympics, Summer Games.


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