TOKYO: Deepa Malik, the President of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) and Rio 2016 silver medallist said she is happy to see Bhavina Patel carry forward her legacy of winning a medal in the Paralympic Games.
India's para table tennis player Bhavina won silver on Sunday and became only the second Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympic Games.
Deepa said no one would have ever thought that an Indian para table tennis player will bring a medal in the Paralympic Games.
"I am very happy that a woman is carrying forward the legacy of winning a medal in the Paralympics and that too a wheelchair para-athlete in a new game. No one would have ever thought in India that we will perform well in table tennis. That we will beat players from China or Korea," Deepa told ANI.
World number one Zhou Ying overwhelmed Bhavina Patel in straight sets by 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-6) in just 19 minutes. With this silver medal, Bhavina became the first medal winner for India in this edition of the Games.
The PCI chief lauded the calmness shown by Bhavina during her matches in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games.
"She played with maturity as she implemented all her learnings in the match. She was very calm during the game. I am very happy as today is National Sports Day and a woman has opened India's tally in Paralympics," said Deepa Malik.
"Now there are two women who have won medals in wheelchair events. I'm very happy that Bhavina has taken forward my legacy," she added.
Vinod Kumar in the men's discus throw the F52 final and Nishad Kumar and Ram Pal Chahar in the men's high jump T47 final will be in action later today.
Deepa Malik has high hopes of getting another medal on Sunday and she wants athletes to play without any pressure.
"We can hope for medals in the coming days. There are games in the evening too, our athletics team which is the powerhouse of our contingent will be competing in the events soon," said Deepa
"We don't want them to be under some pressure, we only want that they give their best. I have high hopes that today we can again get a medal," she added.
Coming back to the para table tennis match, Zhou Ying has now become one of the most decorated para-paddlers in China. The 32-year-old is now 6 time Paralympic gold medalist.
She won two medals in each of the singles and team events during the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic campaigns and now one in Tokyo 2020.