Avani Lekhara and other Indian medalists: Indians have set the Tokyo Paralympics on fire as the contingent managed to win five medals on Monday itself that comprised two gold medals.
The day started on a rollicking note as Avani Lekhara penned history by becoming the first Indian shooter to bag a gold medal at the Paralympics.
Her scintillating display in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event helped her to claim the ace with a Paralympic world record of 249.6.
She became the fourth Indian paralympic athlete to bag gold, following the footsteps of Murlikant Petkar in 1972, Devendra Jhajharia in 2004 and 2016 and Thangavelu Mariyappan in 2016.
As she came from the SH1 category, she was allowed to hold her gun with both arms. In this category, the weakness is in the legs, which can be amputation or paraplegia.
China’s Cuiping Zhang bagged the silver, while Ukraine’s Iryina Shchetnik grabbed the bronze. The early rounds were scary for her as she could only finish in the seventh position to qualify with a score of 621.7. She overcame a slow start to roar back to qualifications that laid the platform for the final outburst.
She was limited to a wheelchair after a tragic car accident in 2012 damaged her spinal cord. Not dented by the shortcoming, she followed the footsteps of her idol, Abhinav Bindra and bagged her first state medal after joining shooting in 2015.
Sumit Antil became the second gold medalist on the same day as he bagged gold in Javelin throw. India has already won seven medals in the competition, which was supposed to be eight before Vinod Kumar’s medal was taken back.
Indian cricketers were delighted at the showdown posted by Avani Lekhara to bag her gold at the tender age of just 19 years. They filled Twitter with congratulatory tweets over the young lady’s performance.
She has created history.
The first ever woman from India to win a #Paralympics #Gold 🔥🔥
Wow #AvaniLekhara on the outst anding feat.
Also equals the current WR to win the Women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 final! 💪💪#Tokyo2020#ShootingParaSport pic.twitter.com/saehkl2tJtAdvertisement
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 30, 2021
IT'S A GOLD! 🇮🇳
First Indian woman to win a Paralympics gold.
She equalled the world record too.
All that at the age of 19!
Take a bow🙌🏻 #Paralympics #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/ZRv48kIXkf
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 30, 2021
Take a bow, @AvaniLekhara. The mental strength you’ve displayed to overcome challenges at such an early age & the grit you’ve displayed to win the🥇for 🇮🇳 is incredible.
You are an inspiration to all of us to never give up & keep pursuing our dreams.👏🏻pic.twitter.com/lfQVADQ6Kq
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 30, 2021
A special moment to see our Indian athletes performing brilliantly at the @Paralympics 👏🏻👏🏻
Congratulations to @AvaniLekhara 🥇@DevJhajharia @nishad_hj Yogesh Kathuniya 🥈
Sundar Singh Gurjar and Vivek Kumar 🥉 on making 🇮🇳 proud 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/cfenzIntd5
— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) August 30, 2021
What #TeamIndia have managed to do at the Paralympic Games is inspirational. @AvaniLekhara is only 19 years old, and she's won GOLD! Congratulations to ALL the medal winners. You make us proud. #Tokyo2020 #Praise4Para pic.twitter.com/g6lCENotGl
— Akshar Patel (@akshar2026) August 30, 2021
Can anyone seek anything more than the national anthem being played and the national flag rising in your honour? Wow, @AvaniLekhara.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 30, 2021