12/09/2016 9:09 PM IST | Updated 14/09/2016 11:34 AM IST

Deepa Malik Is The First Indian Woman To Win A Medal At The Paralympics, Bags Silver In Shotput

History has been made.

Prabha Chandran

On Monday, Deepa Malik made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics. Malik, a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down, clinched the silver in the shotput event with a throw of 4.61m at the 2016 Rio Games.

Fatema Nedham of Bahrain won the gold medal with a throw of 4.76m, and Dimitra Korokida of Greece took the bronze with a throw of 4.28m.

This is India's third medal at the 2016 Paralympics. Thangavelu Mariyappan has won the gold in men's high jump, and Varun Singh Bhati took the bronze in the same event.

Before leaving for Rio, 45-year-old Malik told HuffPost India blogger Prabha Chandran that the Indian government had hardly paid any attention to the athletes who were going to compete in Paralympics, but she was determined to make India proud.

"There is no public awareness that 19 of us disabled athletes are representing India in Rio, so there is no sponsorship. But we are not disappointed, we believe we will bring back more medals than our sports stars did at Rio," she said.

READ: I'm Disappointed At PM's Silence On Rio Paralympics, But Hope To Win Gold

Malik, who is the mother of two children, was paralyzed by successive spinal tumours in the late '90s. Undaunted by the odds, she embarked on a sports career, winning 58 state and national level honours, 17 international awards and breaking two Asian world records for javelin.

On Monday, messages hailing Malik's achievement flooded Twitter. "Your silver at the #Paralympics makes the nation very proud," Modi tweeted.

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