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India‘s success at the Tokyo Paralympics continues as shooter Avani Lekhara bagged the gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday. She becomes the first Indian woman to win gold at the Paralympics.
This is India’s first gold and fourth medal overall at this year’s Paralympics Games. Earlier, Bhavinaben Patel (table tennis) and Nishad Kumar (high jump) had won a silver each on Sunday, and Vinod Kumar had won bronze in the men’s discus throw.
Avani Lekhara, 19, who is making her maiden Paralympics appearance in Tokyo, is only the fourth Indian to win gold at the Paralympics; she is the first Indian to win a medal in shooting, only the third Indian woman to medal at the Paralympics.
In the final, she equalled the world record and set a new Paralympic record. She had earlier finished seventh in the qualification round. China’s Zhang Cuiping, the defending champion, won silver, while Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik, the world no. 1, won bronze.
“I can’t describe this feeling, I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world. It’s unexplainable,” she said after the final.
Hailing from Jaipur, Rajasthan, Avani Lekhara met an unfortunate car accident in 2012 and injured her spinal cord, forcing her into a wheelchair. She picked up shooting on her father’s encouragement and gained confidence after reading Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra’s autobiography.
She’ll also be participating in three more events – women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, mixed 10m air rifle SH1 and mixed 10m rifle prone SH1.
Indian cricketers and the cricket fraternity celebrated this win of Avani Lekhara. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar bowed to her and termed her as an inspiration for all.
Indian Cricket Fraternity Congratulates Avani Lekhara For Bagging Gold Medal In Shooting At Tokyo Paralympics:
Take a bow, @AvaniLekhara. The mental strength you’ve displayed to overcome challenges at such an early age & the grit you’ve displayed to win the
You are an inspiration to all of us to never give up & keep pursuing our dreams.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 30, 2021
Wow #AvaniLekhara on the outstanding feat.
Also equals the current WR to win the Women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 final!
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 30, 2021
@AvaniLekhara clinches India's
1⃣st medal in @ShootingPara.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 30, 2021
— Suresh Raina
(@ImRaina) August 30, 2021
What a historic feat by #AvaniLekhara on becoming the first ever Indian women to win a #Paralympics Gold. A landmark ocassion in Indian sports.
And with #YogeshKathuniya delivering an outstanding performance to bring home a Silver, India now has 5 medals in the #TokyoParalympics pic.twitter.com/CQiwDjAH82
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 30, 2021
What you have done will be etched in our memory forever!
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 30, 2021
IT'S A GOLD!
First Indian woman to win a Paralympics gold.
She equalled the world record too.
All that at the age of 19!
Take a bow
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 30, 2021
@AvaniLekhara shoots our
— Chennai Super Kings – Mask P
du Whistle P
du! (@ChennaiIPL) August 30, 2021
𝐀𝐕𝐀𝐍𝐈 𝐋𝐄𝐊𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐀 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐬 𝐆𝐎𝐋𝐃
woman to win #Paralympics gold
First medal for
Broke the para record
Equalled the world record
What a historic performance from the 19-year-old shooter
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) August 30, 2021