Shooter Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal as she topped the podium in women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event at the Tokyo Paralympics on Monday.
The Indian shooter created a Paralympics record and equalled the world record with a score of 249.6 to win the gold medal. China’s Cuiping Zhang won silver with 248.9 and Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik took bronze with a total of 227.5. Lekhara’s was India’s first para gold in shooting at the Paralympics and she equalled Iryna Shchetnik’s world record that was set in 2018. She also became the first Indian woman to win a gold at the Paralympics.
Lekhara became the fourth Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar in 1972, javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia in 2004 and 2016 and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan in 2016.
Shooters are able to hold a gun with arms in the SH1 Rifle category. Athletes have an impairment in their legs as some athletes compete in a seated position while others compete in a standing position.
(With PTI inputs)