Minutes after India won its first gold medal at Tokyo Paralympics, Prime Minister Narender Modi picked up the phone to call the golden girl, Avani Lekhara, as the country celebrate the historic feat. (More Sports News)
Lekhara, 19, became the first-ever Indian woman Paralympic gold medallist after shooting a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.
Avani Lekhara First Indian Woman To Shoot Paralympics Gold, Equals Record At Tokyo 2020— Outlook Magazine (@Outlookindia) August 30, 2021
Courtesy - @EurosportIN@AvaniLekhara @Tokyo2020hi @WeAreTeamIndia#AvaniLekhara #Tokyo2020 #IndiaAtParalympicshttps://t.co/zU1f4MieN0 pic.twitter.com/CAFWRyNht5
Lekhara edged out 2016 Rio Games gold-medallist Cuiping Zhangh of China in the R-2 women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event at the Asaka Shooting Range.
The teenager's performance was lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 30, 2021
"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," Modi tweeted.
She's the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan (2016).
But she is the first woman to win an individual gold medal in the country's history in Paralympics or Olympics history of the country. Until now, Abhinav Bindra and Neeraj Chopra were the only Indians to have won individual gold medals.
"Gold it is! Brilliant display by @AvaniLekhara to win India its first Paralympic gold medal in shooting. Immensely proud ! Many Congratulations on your shot at history," Bindra wrote in a social media post.
She will also be competing in the mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1, the women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 and the mixed 50m Rifle Prone event.
She sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012.