Shooter Avani Lekhara creates history; becomes first Indian woman to win gold at Paralympics

The 19-year-old finished with a total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.

Swati Bhatia Editor

Updated - 30 August 2021 1:28 pm

Shooter Avani Lekhara created history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. Avani bagged a gold in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event.

The 19-year-old finished with a total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.

Overall, she’s the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after Murlikant Petkar (Swimming), Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw), Thangavelu Mariyappan (High Jump).

Avani dedicates medal to India

Shortly after her win, Avani dedicated her historic gold medal to the entire nation. "This medal is not mine, it’s for the entire country. I want to dedicate this medal to the entire country", Avani said after the event.

"Every athlete dreams of winning a medal. For the last 5 years, I was working towards representing India at the Paralympics, waiting for this moment. I was not at all thinking about a medal, I was focussing on the process, taking one shot at a time. Now I am feeling like I am on top of the world. This feeling is inexplicable," Avani was quoted as saying.

India bags 4 medals on Monday

India took its medal tally to 6 on Monday. Devendra Jhaharia, who won the 2004 and 2016 gold in men's javelin, took the silver in F46 category, while Sundar Singh won the bronze in the same event. Yogesh Kathunya won the silver in Men's Discus F56 event at the Paralympics.

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