Tokyo Paralympics: India’s Avani Lekhara won gold in women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event Nishad(silver), Devendra Jhajharia(silver) Yogesh Kathuniya(silver)
— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) August 30, 2021
Shooter Avani Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal as she topped the podium in the women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event at the Tokyo Paralympics on Monday. The Indian shooter created a Paralympics record and equalled the world record with a score of 249.6 to win the gold medal.
China’s Cuiping Zhang won silver with 248.9 and Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik took bronze with a total of 227.5. Lekhara’s was India’s first para gold in shooting at the Paralympics and she equalled Iryna Shchetnik’s world record that was set in 2018. She also became the first Indian woman to win a gold at the Paralympics.
Avani Lekhara became the 4th Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympics after swimmer Murlikant Petkar in 1972, javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia in 2004 and 2016 and high jumper Thangavelu Mariyappan in 2016.
Shooters are able to hold a gun with arms in the SH1 Rifle category. Athletes have an impairment in their legs as some athletes compete in a seated position while others compete in a standing position.
Devendra Jhajharia clinched the silver medal by bettering his own world record (63.97m). He registered a throw of 64.35m in the men’s javelin (F46) final but he couldn’t get the better of Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage, who set a new world record with a throw of 67.79m to win gold.
Indian discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya, who trained for the Paralympics without a coach and is quite proud to have finished on the podium without any tangible guidance for over one year now. The 24-year-old, a B.Com graduate from New Delhi’s Kirorimal College, sent the disc to the best distance of 44.38m in his sixth and last attempt to clinch the silver. “That was amazing. Winning the silver has given me so much more motivation to get the gold medal at Paris 2024,” he said in the mixed zone.
Earlier Indian Para Athletes Nishad (High Jump) and Vinod (Discus Throw) sets new Asian Records to win Medals in their respective events.
In what appeared to be the Super Sunday, Indian Para Athletes Nishad Kumar brought one more medals in track and field events in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.
Nishad Kumar, competing in the T47 high jump, was the first athlete to secure a silver medal. It was the second silver the Indians won today after Bhavina Patel, who won the first one in the Class-4 category of Table Tennis earlier this morning.
The 21-year-old Nishad, a physical education student from Lovely Professional University, took two attempts to sail over 2.06m—his medal-winning height which incidentally also a new Asian Record in this category.
Nishad failed in all his three attempts at 2.09m. Roderick Townsend from the United States, the reigning World and Paralympic record-holder, improved his global mark to 2.15m for the gold. Another American, Dallas Wise, shared the silver medal with the Indian as he too cleared the same height (2.06m) as Nishad. The second Indian in the fray, Ram Pal, finished fifth after equaling his personal best height of 1.94m.