Agartala (Tripura) [India], Sept. 10 : Gymnast Dipa Karmakar who missed getting a medal at the recent Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by a whisker, on Saturday praised Paralympians Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati for winning gold and bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
"I want to congratulate both for winning gold and bronze medals. They have made us proud. They should be given equal importance as they have put a lot of efforts and won these medals," Karmakar said.
Commenting on the Sports Authority of India (SAI) report the most athletes were unfit, Karmakar said "Let's see what will happen.
Whoever will be unfit, the decision will be taken on them by the seniors. Till now, nothing is confirmed." Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed India's Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati for bagging a gold and bronze respectively.
"India is elated! Congratulations to Mariyappan Thangavelu on winning a gold (and) Varun Singh Bhati for the bronze at the #Paralympics.
#Rio2016," he said in a tweet. Thangavelu scripted history at the ongoing Rio Paralympics, becoming the first Indian para-athlete to bag a gold medal in the men's high jump-T42 finals on day two of the prestigious tournament at the Olympic Stadium.
The 21-year-old, hailing from Salem district in Tamil Nadu, grabbed top honours with a best leap of 1.89 metres, while compatriot Varun Singh Bhati produced his personal best mark of 1.86 metres to win the bronze medal behind American Sam Grewe, who also registered the same mark.
Thangavelu's gold is only India's third in Paralympics history. Earlier, swimmer Murlikant Petkar won gold in the 1972 Games and Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia had won gold in Athens 2004.
India, which has send its largest-ever delegation of 19 for a Paralympic Games, currently has two medals - gold and bronze.