Shooter Avani Lekhara first Indian woman to clinch gold at Paralympics

The 19-year-old fired her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event at Tokyo

The games which began on August 24 will wrap up on September 5. Photo: Facebook

Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event at Tokyo.

The 19-year-old finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record. She’s 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).

Also read: Nishad Kumar wins silver in men’s high jump in Paralympics

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.

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Congratulating the 19-year-old on her success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a “special moment for Indian sports”.

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