Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Avani Lekhara Wins First Gold For India In Shooting

Avani Lekhara, Avani Lekhara wins gold, Who is Avani Lekhara
Avani Lekhara wins gold: Shooter Avani Lekhara shot brilliantly to clinch India’s first ever gold medal in the category as India had another good day in field at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games on Monday.

Lekhara put up an indomitable performance in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 event and secured the gold medal with a total score of 249.6 in the final, equalling the world record.

19-year-old Avani Lekhara became the first shooter from India to win a Paralympics medal.

“Heartiest congratulations to Avani Lekhara for winning India’s first medal in Para Shooting,” Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik told ANI. She added, “The young shooter kept her calm and won the medal by equalling the World record.” This was India’s fourth medal and first gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games so far. India at Tokyo Paralympics

Lekhara not only made history for India, but also equalled the world record in the said category with her score of 249.6 points. China’s Cuiping Zhang secured a silver, while Iryna Shchetnik from Ukraine won the bronze medal.

The Indian shooter had qualified for the final finishing seventh in the qualification round with a total score of 621.7.

Who is Avani Lekhara?

Having injured her spinal cord in a car accident in 2012, the teenager was left confined to a wheelchair. She was inspired by former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and took up shooting in 2015. Lekhara won her first state medal using a rifle borrowed from her coach and clinched consecutive gold medals at the National Shooting Championship in 2015 and 2016. She then bagged a silver medal at the IPC Para Shooting World Cup in Dubai in 2017.

Apart from several national medals, she had also won laurels at the international level. She broke the junior world record in 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 finals at the 2019 WSPS Championships, Australia. Most recently, the shooter won silver in 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 in the Osijek World Shooting Para Sport, Croatia in 2019.

Feature Image Credit: Avani Lekhara/Instagram