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 19-year-old also scripted history becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. 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).
She qualified for the final finishing 7th in the qualification round with a total score of 621.7. Avani staged a good recovery after a slow start to advance to the finals of the showpiece event.
She registered good scores of 104.9, 104.8 in her third and fourth attempt to be in the game before scoring 104.1 in the final round of qualification. The Indian shooter will now lock horns in the finals of the showpiece event.
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