‘Extraordinarily able’ Rio heroes honoured

Mumbai: Rio Paralympics’ medalists — Devendra Jhajharia, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Deepa Malik and Varun Singh Bhati — were felicitated by Aster DM Healthcare’s chairman Dr Azad Moopen along with Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai on Monday.

Jhajharia had won the gold medal in men’s javelin throw F46 and is the only Indian to have clinched two gold medals in Paralympics.

Thangavelu also clinched a gold medal in men’s high jump T42 while Bhati won a bronze in the same event. Malik became the first Indian woman to bag a medal in Paralympics by clinching a silver in women’s F53 shot put.

Each of the medal winners received a cheque for Rs 15 lakh. It was also announced that medal winners in earlier editions of Paralympics would also be presented Rs 15 lakh each.

Tendulkar said he was extremely proud of all the Paralympic medal winners and the others who took part in Rio and termed them “extraordinarily abled”.

“It’s a special moment. I am truly honoured to be here. As an Indian, I am extremely proud of all four of you and the other athletes also who participated. The whole world calls them differently challenged and abled. According to me, these champions are extraordinarily abled.”

“We all sportsmen have our fair share of trials and tribulations. But, with these athletes, by multiple folds it happens more.

“Adversity and challenges to deal with all those things is something, which doesn’t happen on its own. It requires lots of focus, effort, determination and dedication and support of your family. And to overcome all these obstacles, I think our champions have come out with flying colours,” the retired batting maestro said.

The GoSports Foundation would also receive Rs 35 lakhs to continue its work in supporting and developing future Paralympic champions.

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