Shooter Avani Lekhara Wins Bronze, First Indian Woman To Win 2 Medals At Single Paralympics
Avani Lekhara, who had earlier won gold, became the first Indian woman to win two medals at a single Paralympics by clinching the bronze in women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 event.
- Avani Lekhara became 1st Indian to win 2 medals at single Paralympics
- Avani Lekhara won the bronze medal in the women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions
- She had earlier won a gold in the women's 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1)
India's Avani Lekhara clinched her second medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics by winning the bronze in women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions (SH1) event on Friday. The 19-year-old, who had become the first Indian woman to win gold at the Paralympics by finishing top of the podium in the women's 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event, made more history on Friday with a third-place finish in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions event. She became the first Indian woman to win two medals at a single edition of the Paralympics.
During the 1984 Paralympics, Joginder Singh Sodhi had won multiple medals in the same edition of the Games when he clinched one silver and two bronze medals.
Avani had finished second, a point behind Sweden's Anna Normann in the qualification. The Swedish shooter and Avani both had bettered the previous Qualification World Record with some exceptional shooting.
During the qualification round, Avani had struggled a bit in the Kneeling position but found her range in the Prone and Standing to climb up the ladder.
In the final, Avani once again was slow to get off the mark scoring a 9.8 and 9.7 in her first two shots. However, she found her mark soon and shot a 10.9 in her fourth shot.
Avani, though, found the going hard in the third series in Kneeling position, with only one shot out of 5 in the over 10-point mark. Her scores improved in the Prone position, shooting a 51.5, 51.4 and 51.0. But with others shooting a little better, the Indian found herself in seesawing between 5th and 6th place.
Most shooters in the final, struggled in the Standing position, and Avani took advantage of that to make up some places and climb to fourth. She was hot on the heels of Ukraine's Iryna Shchetnik (3rd place) when the elimination stage started.
A 10.3 saw her leapfrog the Ukrainian into third but Shchetnik shot a 10.4 as compared to Avani's 10.2 to regain the third place.
With just four shooters left, the Indian trailed Shchetnik by just 0.2 points and with elimination looming, Avani held her nerves to shoot a 10.5 as compared to the Ukrainian's 9.9 to get into the medal places.
The Ukrainian was eliminated as Avani assured India another medal. But the shooters who were vying for gold and silver were far too ahead for Avani to close the gap. The Indian finished off with a 10.2 to take home the bronze. Cuiping Zhang of China won the gold, while Germany's Natascha Hiltrop clinched the silver.