Meet the 20-year-old shooter who qualified for the Paralympics Games at Tokyo and is set to represent the India Team at the Shooting Paralympic of the 2020 Summer Paralympics. From a life-threatening accident to becoming a Paralympic bound shooter, here is who Avani Lekhara is.
Currently holding the World Number 5 position in Women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 according to the World Shooting Para Sports Rankings, Lekhara mentions drawing her inspiration from notable Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra.
Lekhara met with a life-threatening accident at the age of 11 in the year 2012 that left her paralysed in a wheelchair and till date, she faces complications due to the serious injuries. However, going against all odds, Lekhara now tots to bring into the country Paralympics medals from the upcoming Tokyo Games.
Who Is Avani Lekhara?
Lekhara also holds the credit of participating in the R3 – Mixed 10M Air Rifle Prone, R6 – Mixed 50M Rifle Prone, R2 – Women’s 10M Air Rifle Standing and R8 – Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Position.
In an interview with The Bridge, Lekhara said on her journey of being India’s Paralympic shooter that it was very difficult initially as she could not lift a rifle because it was too heavy for her. “The accident left me paralysed. I lost my strength,” the report quoted.
Dismissing the common mindset of believing Paralympics is easier than Olympics, Lekhara said, “Some people believe it is easier for us, but it is not. We are performing equally well in the international circuit.
“I believe it is harder for us because we have to have mental strength. When you are a para-athlete, people start judging you. To live with a disability is a victory in itself.”
Lekhara finished second at the IPC Para Shooting World Cup in the year 2017 and another silver at the Para Shooting World Cup in Osijek, Croatia in 2019. Following these victories, Lekhara announced herself on the International stage.
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