Tokyo: Another morning, another great start and another daughter of India makes the country proud. Avani Lekhara won India’s first medal in shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday. Lekhara won the gold medal with a total score of 249.6 in the final, equalling the world record. This is India’s fourth medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games so far.
The young and energetic 19-year-old Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman both in the Olympics and Paralympics to have won a gold medal in a shooting event. Overall, she is the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016).
In the SH1 Rifle category, shooters are able to hold a gun with arms. The athletes have an impairment in their legs, for example, amputations or paraplegia. Some athletes will compete in a seated position, while others will compete in a standing position.
Meanwhile, congratulatory messages are flooding social media platforms, with Prime Minister hailing the Jaipur-born Avani Lekhara.
Praising the para shooting’s phenomenal feat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her on Twitter. He wrote,” Phenomenal performance @AvaniLekhara! Congratulations on winning a hard-earned and well-deserved Gold, made possible due to your industrious nature and passion for shooting. This is truly a special moment for Indian sports. Best wishes for your future endeavours.”