Tokyo Paralympics: Avani Lekhara created history as she clinched the first medal in shooting in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. The 19-year-old clinched the top podium spot in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday, becoming the first Indian female Paralympian to clinch the gold. Lekhara’s win was India’s fourth at the Tokyo Paralympics, a tally that has risen to seven so far.
Tokyo Paralympics: Avani Lekhara wins GOLD- all you need to know about Indian shooter
- Avani Lekhara is the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016).
- The 19-year-old qualified for the final finishing 7th in the qualification round with a total score of 621.7. Avani registered good scores of 104.9, 104.8 in her third and fourth attempt to be in the game before scoring 104.1 in the final round of qualification.
- In the final event, she shot an impressive 249.6 in the final event to clinch a historic gold medal for India. Lekhara not only clinched the top podium spot at the Tokyo Paralympics but also a new Paralympic Record and the World Record.
It’s 🥇 for 🇮🇳
Avani wins 🥇 in her debut #Paralympics
What an amazing performance by @AvaniLekhara as she wins 🇮🇳’s 1st 🥇in Para Shooting in 10m AR Standing SH1 Final with a score of 249.6 creating Paralympic Record & equalling the World Record!!!#Cheer4India #Praise4Para pic.twitter.com/Gf4S3T6V8t
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) August 30, 2021
Avani Lekhara hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan. She met with a car accident at the age of 10 in 2012, which resulted in a spinal cord injury, which led to her being mobile only in a wheelchair. Avani Lekhara began shooting in 2015 at Jagatpura Sports Complex in Jaipur, India was inspired by her father to get involved in a sport. She initially tried both shooting and archery. She was also inspired by Abhinav Bindra, the 2008 Beijing gold medallist, especially after reading his book. Lekhara has also listed him as her idol.
She made her international debut at the 2017 World Cup and has competed in the 2018 Asian Para Games. Avani Lekhara also participated in the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships but failed to win a medal. She was named Most Promising Paralympic Athlete by the GoSports Foundation in India. The 19-year-old before the Olympics had cited that winning a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo was her ambition, which she fulfilled with a record-setting performance on Monday.