Paralympics: Avani Lekhara becomes first Indian woman to win gold
Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. She finished at the top in the R-2 women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event in Tokyo. The 19-year-old registered a record-equaling total of 249.6. This is now a new Paralympic record. Avani is overall the fourth Indian athlete to win gold at Paralympics.
Fourth Indian athlete to win gold at Paralympics
Avani has become the fourth Indian athlete to win a gold medal at Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016), and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016). However, she is the first Indian woman to do so.
Avani did well even after finishing seventh in qualification round
Avani qualified for the final even though she finished seventh in the qualification round with a total score of 621.7. She made a salubrious comeback to proceed to the finals. Registering a score of 249.6 in the final, Avani equaled the world record set by Iryna Shchetnik in 2018. While China's Zhang Cuiping clinched the silver medal (248.9), Shchetnik settled for bronze (227.5).
Avani clinched silver at Para Shooting World Cup
Avani, who hails from Jaipur, sustained spinal cord injury in a fatal car accident in 2012. She began shooting in 2015 at the Jagatpura Sports Complex. In July 2019, she clinched the silver medal (10m air rifle) at the Para Shooting World Cup. Later that year, Avani was named the Most Promising Paralympic Athlete by the GoSports Foundation in India.
Devendra Jhajharia, Sundar Singh Gujar, Yogesh Kathuniya bag honors
Indian continued their terrific run at the Paralympics on Monday. Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gujar won silver and bronze medals respectively in the men's javelin throw - F46 final. The former registered his best throw of 64.35m, while Sundar won bronze in the same event with a best throw of 64.01m. Meanwhile, Yogesh Kathuniya also won silver in the men's discus throw event.
Seven medals for India at Tokyo Paralympics
India have now won a total of seven medals in the ongoing Paralympics edition. Earlier, Nishad Kumar, Vinod Kumar, and Bhavina Patel bagged honors. India have recorded their best-ever tally at a single Paralympics edition. Notably, they had secured four medals in 2016 and 1984 each. So far, across editions, India have claimed a total of 19 medals (gold: 5, silver: 8, bronze: 6).