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Get to know India's Rio Paralympic gold, silver, and bronze medallists

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

Indian paralympic athletes are making the nation proud at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. India's medal tally at the Summer Games improved, as Devendra Jhajaria won a gold by throwing a massive 63.97m at the F46 javelin throw event. By doing so, he broke the previous world record of 62.19m.

India, currently has two golds, one silver, and one bronze. Let's take a look at the achievements of the Indian Paralympians at the games.

Mariyappan Thangavelu

Losing his leg at the age of five, Thangavelu never gave up on his love for sports. His coach, Satyanarayana, identified his talent at the Indian national para-athletic championships and took him as a student in 2015. However, he trained under coach Elamparithi for the Paralympics.

Thangavelu qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympics by clearing a distance of 1.78m in the men's high jump T42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia. A Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree, Thangavelu is yet to get a proper job. He leaped 1.89m at the T-42 event to clinch his first gold.

Devendra Jhajharia

Bettering his own world record of 62.19m made in 2004 at Athens, Jhajharia threw a massive 62.19m to win his second gold at Paralympic games. The first was in 2004 Athens.

Currently ranking third in the world, the track and field star has also won a gold at 2013 International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Lyon. The 36-year-old athlete is a 2004 Arjuna Award winner and the first Paralympian athlete to win the Padma Shri in 2012.

India's flag bearer at 2016 Rio Paralympics, a Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award winner, a member of the paralympics committee of Rajasthan, and an employee with the Railways, this one hand 'gold' star is ready to shine brighter than ever.

Deepa Malik

Winner of 47 gold, five silver, two bronze, Deepa Malik started her sports career at the age of 36 and became a paralympic silver medallist at the age of 45 in the T-53 shot put event. Malik suffered from a spinal tumour in 1999 and underwent three surgeries and 183 stitches which left her paralysed from the waist down, confining her to a wheelchair. Her paraplegic state didn't halt her as she holds an official IPC Asian Record In Javelin F-53 Category.

She is the first paraplegic to get a license for official rallies from the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India and has participated in the "Raid de Himalaya" in 2009 and the "Desert Storm" in 2010. A 2012 Arjuna Award winner, Malik is an accomplished entrepreneur, swimmer, biker and has made it to the Limca Book of Record four times.

Varun Bhati

A student of B.Sc. Maths (Hons), Bhati shot to fame by registering the 'A' qualification mark for the 2012 Paralympics in London with a performance of 1.60m. Diagnosed with polio at a very young age, Bhati went on to become a champion athlete.

The 21-year-old from Uttar Pradesh finished fifth at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, (South Korea) and won a gold medal at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championship, the same year.

Strengthening his reputation as India's leading para high jumper, Varun recorded a jump of 1.82m at the 2016 IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championship where he won a gold as well as set a new Asian record.

As they make India proud at the Rio Paralympic, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Deepa Malik, Varun Bhati got their names written alongside Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu and bronze medallist Sakshi Malik. Kudos to all of them!

First published: 14 September 2016, 2:04 IST