Yesterday, Indian para-athlete Deeva Malik’s last piece of luggage finally arrived in Rio. Dutch carrier KLM had lost both pieces of her luggage in transit to Rio from India. Among the items lost were her clothes, her uniform for the Opening Ceremonies, critical personal maintenance items, exercise equipment and other gear needed to compete in the shot put in Rio including her competition belts.
The first piece made its way to Rio two days after she left, arriving on Sunday. The second piece that arrived yesterday contained the belts required to tie down her chair during the shot put. This equipment was critical for participating as it allowed her practice using her preferred settings, and setting her up for potential medal success.
Malik is one of two Indian women on the country’s athletics team. She was chosen following a national trials, where her performance in the shot put was determined to be more likely to medal than another Indian para-athlete who competes in the javelin. The other athlete was not happy with the outcome of the selection process, and took the Sports Authority of India to the High Court of Delhi, challenging the legitimacy of the selection. The High Court of Delhi ruled in Malik and the Sports Authority’s favor. The process was a major distraction from her training ahead of the Rio Games.
Deepa Malik is one of India’s most well known Indian para-athletes, alongside her daughter Devika Malik who is also gifted Indian para-athlete. Deepa Malik has represented India at a number of international events. She finished fifth in the shot put at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championship in Doha, Qatar. In March of this year, she picked up a pair of medals at the IPC Oceania Asian Championship in Dubai. In 2014, she won a silver medal at the Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea.