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Tokyo Paralympics: Cricket fraternity lauds Avani Lekhara for historic gold

She became the first Indian woman to win gold in Paralympics

Avani Lekhara
Avani Lekhara ( Image Credit: Twitter)

India’s Avani Lekhara created history as she gave the country it’s first gold in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics by winning the 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday. She became the first Indian woman to win gold in Paralympics, and just the fourth Indian to claim a podium finish after Murlikant Petkar (swimming), Devendra Jhajharia (javelin throw) and Mariyappan Thangavelu (javelin throw). She is also the first Indian to win a medal in shooting in the Paralympics while the third Indian woman to win a medal at Paralympics after Deepa Malik (shot put, 2016) and Bhavinaben Patel (table tennis), who both won silver.

Lekhara was in scintillating form in the final and set a new world record by shooting a total of 249.6. Meanwhile, China’s Zhang Cuiping won silver with a total of 248.9, while Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik won bronze with a score of 227.5. Both Zhang and Iryna finished first and second respectively after scoring 626 in the qualification round while Avani Lekhara came seventh with a score of 621.7

“I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully there’s a lot of medals more to come. I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time. There’s nothing else that matters now, just take one shot at a time and just finish it.

“I just think that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally,” Lekhara said after the final.

This was India’s seventh medal in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. India won three medals yesterday with Bhavinaben Patel and Nishad Kumar winning silver in table tennis and high jump events respectively while Vinod Kumar claiming bronze in men’s F52 discus throw event. They bettered their performance of yesterday by winning four medals today with Yogesh Kathuniya securing a silver medal in the men’s discus throw event, while Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar winning silver and bronze respectively in the men’s Javelin throw event.

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