Avani Lekhara clinches the first gold medal for India at the Tokyo Paralympics. The 19-year-old creates history as she becomes the first woman from India to win a Paralympics gold medal. She won the prestigious medal by winning the women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event.
Avani had finished seventh in the qualifying round with a total score of 621.7, but as the last round progressed Avani finished with a Paralympic Record and in-process equalled the World Record with 249.6 points.
China’s Cuiping Zhang grabbed silver by scoring 248.9 points while Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik won bronze.
She had a slow start in the first few rounds of qualifying but she gradually picked up her pace and started scoring consistently above 10 points. Just two-shot of her went below 10 in the 1st competition stage which landed her in the second position.
Going into the elimination stage Avani grabbed 1st spot and maintained a very healthy lead against her opponents. The Indian continued with her fine performance and ended with 249.6 points in the end.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Olympic medallist Abhinav Bindra congratulated her in their tweets:
India adds yet another medal to its tally and is currently ranked 34 in the Tokyo Paralympics rankings with a total of seven medals.
Yesterday Bhavinaben Patel won silver in table tennis and became the first table tennis player ever to win a medal at the Paralympics for India. Nishad Kumar then went on to win silver in High Jump, Yogesh Kathuniya bagged a silver medal in men’s Discus Throw while Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh bagged the silver and bronze medal in men’s Javelin respectively.
Vinod Kumar’s bronze medal in discus throw was put on hold after a protest over his disability classification. A decision is said to be taken by the end of the day.