After flying from India to Rio on Thursday, Indian para-athlete Deepa Malik’s luggage was lost by Dutch carrier, KLM. 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.
As of Sunday night, one of Malik’s bags had made its way to Rio, but she was still missing her belts. These are critical to her ability to compete in the shot put as they secure the throwing chair to the ground. This equipment is required by rule for athlete safety to insure the chair does not fall over. It is customized to the height of the chair used for throwing and in providing required stability.
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.