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 Paralympian Shooter Avani Lekhara Wins Country’s First Gold Medal at Tokyo Paralympics 2020

Today is a historic day for India at Tokyo Paralympics 2020 as 19 yrs old Shooter Avani Lekhara won the country’s first gold medal firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 event here.

Here is how out PM congratulated her with his tweet:

Avani Lekhara made History by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in shooting at an Olympic and paralympic games. The Indian shooter created a Paralympics record and equalled the world record with a score of 249.6 to win the gold medal. China’s Cuiping Zhang won silver with 248.9 and Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik took bronze with a total of 227.5. Lekhara’s was India’s first para gold in shooting at the Paralympics and she equalled Iryna Shchetnik world record that was set in 2018. she also became the first Indian woman to win a gold at the Paralympics.

The 10m Air Rifle shooter hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan and she trains in the JDA Shooting Range in the Pink City. She suffered Traumatic Paraplegia caused By an accident in 2012.

“I can’t describe this feeling, I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world. It’s unexplainable,” Lekhara said

” I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully, there’s a lot of medals more to come,” the 19-year old said about winning India’s first Paralympics shooting medal ever.

Lekhara became the fourth Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar in 1972, javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia in 2004 and 2016 and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan in 2016.

Shooters can hold a gun with arms in the SH1 Rifle category. Athletes have an impairment in their legs as some athletes compete in a seated position while others compete in a standing position.

” I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time and just finish it,” Lekhara said

“I just think that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally.”

Making her Paralympics debut at Tokyo 2020, Lekhara’s gold medal- the country’s first gold medal at Tokyo 2020- now brings India’s medal tally to five.

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