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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Avani Lekhara Creates History After Winning Gold In Shooting At Tokyo Paralympics

Avani Lekhara, an Indian paralympic shooter, earned India’s first gold medal in shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics on Monday in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 category. Yogesh Kathuniya, an Indian discus thrower, won silver in the final F56 division, making India proud. Yogesh finished in second place with the best attempt of 44.38m. Devendra Jhajharia, a two-time gold medalist in the javelin throw, won his third Paralympic medal, this time silver. Sundar Singh Gurjar earned a bronze in the men’s javelin throw F46 final, finishing behind Jhajharia.

Lekhara, 19, won the gold medal in the final with a total score of 249.6. She set a new world record. With a total score of 621.7 in the qualification round, she qualified for the final. Avani made a strong comeback after a difficult start to reach the showcase event’s finals.

The 10m Air Rifle shooter is from Jaipur, Rajasthan, and she trains at the Pink City’s JDA Shooting Range. An accident in 2012 left her with traumatic paraplegia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the para shooters on their achievement on Twitter. He wrote, “Phenomenal performance @AvaniLekhara! Congratulations on winning a hard-earned and well-deserved Gold, made possible due to your industrious nature and passion towards shooting. This is truly a special moment for Indian sports. Best wishes for your future endeavours.”

Abhinav Bindra, India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist in shooting, praised Avani as well.

In his sixth and final effort to win silver, the 24-year-old, a B.Com graduate of New Delhi’s Kirorimal College, sent the disc to a best distance of 44.38m. India had won a silver (high jump) and a bronze (discus throw) on Sunday, but the competition was put on hold owing to a protest.

Kathuniya, the son of an Army officer, suffered a paralytic attack when he was eight years old, leaving him with limb coordination issues.

Claudiney Batista dos Santos of Brazil, the defending champion, reigning world champion, and world record holder, won gold with a best throw of 45.59 metres, while Leonardo Diaz Aldana of Cuba got bronze with a throw of 43.36 metres.

Athletes in the F56 division have complete arm and trunk muscle power. Some people have the capacity to fully press their knees together, which gives them pelvic stability.

With a best throw of 42.51m at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, he earned a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.

Several coaches spotted his talent when he was at the KMC, and he was soon under the supervision of Satyapal Singh at the Jawaharlal Nehuru Stadium.

He came under the guidance of coach Naval Singh a few years later.

In his first international tournament, the Para-athletics Grand Prix in Berlin in 2018, he set a world record in the F36 category.

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