Shooter Avani Lekhara created history as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, finishing on top in women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 at the Tokyo Games on Monday. She is also the first shooter from India to win a medal at the Paralympics.
The 19-year-old won gold with a Paralympic record and equalled the world record with a score of 239.7. She lead the field after a solid start and maintained the lead to secure gold.
This was India’s fourth medal and first gold at Tokyo 2020.
China’s Cuiping Zhang won silver while Iryna Shchetnik from Ukraine won the bronze medal.
Earlier in qualification, she had made the final in seventh position, recovering from a slow start to finish with a total of 621.7 ( series of 103.0 102.8 104.9 104.8 102.1 104.1.)
The teenage shooter was confined to a wheelchair after a car accident in 2012 injured her spinal cord. But inspired by former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, she took up shooting in 2015, winning her first state medal using a rifle borrowed from her coach.
Read more about her here
About shooting classification: The sport’s three classes are SH1 Pistol, SH1 Rifle (able to hold a gun with arms) and SH2 Rifle (unable to hold a gun with arms, so a stand is used). SH1 Rifle sport class athletes can support the full weight of the rifle themselves. As the rifle is held with both hands, athletes in this sport class have an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia. Some athletes will compete in a seated position, while others will compete in a standing position.
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