The 19-year-old Indian player Avani Lekhara dedicated her historic gold medal to the country and also made the entire nation proud. The young Indian player is from Jaipur and became the very first Indian woman to actually get a gold medal at the Paralympics or the Olympics. She won the gold medal after winning the R2 Women’s 10 meters Air Rifle Standing SH1 final round which was conducted on Monday. It took place at the Asaka shooting range and Avani Lekhara did her best in the match.
She also said that she was feeling at the top of the world and it was really emotional. Avani Lekhara after winning the gold medal says “Every athlete dreams of winning a medal. For the last 5 years, I was working towards representing India at the Paralympics waiting for this moment. I was not at all thinking about a medal, I was focusing on the process, taking one shot at a time. Now I am feeling like I am on top of the world. This feeling is inexplicable.”
Avani Lekhara featured in her maiden Paralympic games and showed her skills beautifully by creating an absolutely new world record and setting a new Paralympic record of 249.6. Avani Lekhara won over her Chinese opponent Zhang Cuiping who shot 248.9 and got a silver medal. Jaipur’s 19-year-old sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident that occurred to her in the year 2012. She did not give up her hopes and just by getting into sports she took both shooting and archery and fell in love with shooting. With the help of her parents and after reading the autobiography of an idol Abhinav Bindra “A shot at history” she trained really hard for the Paralympics. Avani Lekhara made her International debut in the year 2017 and she began shooting in 2015 at the Jagatpura sports complex which is located in Jaipur.
She rose to the rank quickly and also became the world’s fifth spot rank holder before she entered the Tokyo Paralympics. Avani Lekhara qualified for Monday’s final round after she finished seventh in the qualification and she said “I am fortunate that I have very supportive parents. They supported me at each and every step. There is no shortcut for hard work. You just have to believe in yourself and keep working hard. These two things have helped me in the middle. Everyone should trust themselves. Nothing better than giving your 100 percent.” On Monday India took its medal tally to 6 and fans are currently looking forward to many Paralympians getting more medals from the prestigious Paralympic games for the country. Truly a very proud moment for India and for Avani Lekhara for creating an amazing new history!