Avani Lekhara amazed the world with her spectacular performance and won India’s first medal in the 10m air rifle standing SH1 shooting event at the Paralympics, Tokyo 2020. She grabbed the gold medal with a world record score of 249.6 in the Final.
Currently, India is at 34th rank in the medal tally with Gold by Avani Lekhara, Silver by Devendra Jharjharia, Yogesh Kathuniya, Nishad Kumar, Bhavinaben Patel and Bronze won by Vinod Kumar and Sundar Singh Gurjar.
The 19-year-old, after a slow start advanced to finals with a good recovery in later stages. She made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold at the Paralympics. She is in the list after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972 ), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016).
She was ranked 7th in the qualification round with a score of 621.7. She grabbed scores of 104.9, 104.8 in her 3rd and 4th attempt before scoring 104.1 in the final round of qualification.
PTI quoted her expressing herself “ I am so happy I could be the one to contribute and hopefully there are a lot more medals to come”. Wishes poured in from across India for the champion.PM Modi congratulated Avani for her phenomenal performance, “Congratulations on winning a hard-earned and well-deserved Gold, made possible due to your industrious nature and passion towards shooting. This is truly a special moment for Indian sports”.
The shooter hails from Jaipur. She met with an accident in 2012 and suffered a spinal cord injury and started shooting at Jagatpur Sports Complex, Jaipur in 2015. She was inspired by reading Olympic gold medalist Shooter Abhinav Bindra autobiography ‘A shot at history’.
Apart from R2 10m air rifle women’s sh1 event Avni will be taking part in three more events:-Women’s R8-50m rifle 3 positions SH1 , Mixed R3-10m air rifle prone SH1 and Mixed R6-50m rifle prone SH 1.