Tokyo Paralympics : India’s Avani Lekhara scripted history by winning a gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle class SH1 at the Tokyo Paralympic Games shooting event here on Monday. Avani equaled the world record by scoring 249.6 in the final and secured the first position. She surpassed China’s Zhang Kuiping (248.9 points). Ukraine’s Iriana Shetnik (227.5) won the bronze medal.
Avani is the first Indian female sportsperson to win a gold medal.
Avani is the first Indian female athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. This is also India’s first medal in the shooting competition of these Games. This is also the country’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. She is the third Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. Women’s table tennis player Bhavinaben Patel and high jumper Nishad Kumar won silver medals on Sunday but Vinod Kumar’s bronze medal in the discus throw F52 event was withheld due to protests over their classification.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated Avani.
Congratulating Avani, PM Narendra Modi wrote, “Extraordinary performance Avani Lekhara! Your hardworking nature and passion for shooting made it possible, congratulations on winning the gold with hard work and brilliant manner. It is indeed a special occasion for India.” moment.”
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 30, 2021
Indian Paralympic Committee President Deepa Malik became the first Indian woman to win a medal at these Games by winning a silver medal in the shot put at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Before Avani, Murlikant Petkar (Men’s Swimming, 1972), Devendra Jhajharia (Men’s Javelin Throw, 2004 and 2016) and Mariyappan Thangavelu (Men’s High Jump, 2016) won gold medals in Paralympic Games from India.
Avani had earlier entered the finals in the qualification round by finishing seventh among 21 shooters. He scored 621.7 after six shots in 60 series, which was enough to make it to the top eight shooters. China’s Kuiping and Ukraine’s Shetnik took the first two places in the qualification with a Paralympic record of 626.0.