Tokyo Paralympics: Shooter Avani Lekhara becomes first Indian woman to win gold at Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics: Shooter Avani Lekhara becomes first Indian woman to win gold at Paralympics

Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history on August 30 as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event here.

The 19-year-old finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.

She’s 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).

In the SH1 Rifle category, shooters are able to hold a gun with arms. The athletes have an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia. Some athletes will compete in a seated position, while others will compete in a standing position.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the young shooter and tweeted,”Phenomenal performance@AvaniLekhara ! 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. Best wishes for your future endeavours.”

India’s first individual Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra also heaped praise on Avani.

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PTI

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