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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Avani Lekhara becomes India's first woman to win a gold medal in Paralympics or Olympics

The para-athlete makes history after winning India's first gold at the Tokyo Paralympics

Avani Lekhara

Avani Lekhara


Rajdeep Saha

Published: 30 Aug 2021 4:04 AM GMT

The 19-year old teen has etched her name in the history books after winning the gold medal in the Women's 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 event. She has become India's first woman to clinch the gold in a Paralympics or Olympics games. Deepa Malik was a silver medallist at Rio, while on Sunday, Bhavina Patel won the silver in Tokyo to start off India's medal haul. But India's youngest Paralympic medallist, Lekhara, did the unthinkable.

The law student from Rajasthan had a sluggish start as she came seventh in the qualification round. With steady improvements she gave her best in the final and equalled the world record of 249.6 points, which is also the new Paralympic record.

After being wheelchair-bound due to an accident in 2012, she hasn't let that get to her but continued to do wonders at the international level. A serial winner, she is the recipient of multiple world cup medals since 2017. Lekhara had won her quota for the Tokyo Paralympics at the 50m Rifle event in February 2019at UAE.

After winning the country's first-ever shooting medal at Paralympics, her gold puts her amongst elite company. She has become only the fourth India to win gold at the games after the likes of Murlikant Petkar (1972), Devendra Jhajharia (2004, 2016), and Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).

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