TOKYO: Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a Gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event here.
The 19-year-old finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.
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).
In the SH1 Rifle category, shooters are able to hold a gun with arms. The athletes have an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia. Some athletes will compete in a seated position, while others will compete in a standing position, PTI reports.
Meanwhile, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra has dedicated the company’s first customised sport utility vehicle (SUV) for people with disabilities to Avani Lekhara.
“A week ago @DeepaAthlete suggested that we develop SUV’s for those with disabilities. Like the one she uses in Tokyo.I requested my colleague Velu, who heads Development to rise to that challenge. Well, Velu, I’d like to dedicate & gift the first one you make to #AvaniLekhara,” Mahindra tweeted on hise official titter handle.
Last week, responding to the a special request made by the president of the Paralympic Committee of India, Deepa Malik, to the Indian Automobile industry to manufacture special SUVs in India, Mahindra had said that the challenge would be taken up by a team at Mahindra Research Valley.
“We can work with companies like @TrueAssisTech which have already installed such systems in our cars. And we proudly cheer OUR contingent at #Paralympics #Praise4Para,” he had tweeted.
Key India updates:
Shooting: Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 – Avani Lekhara creates history with Gold medal.
Athletics: Yogesh Kathuniya throws a SB of 44.38 in men’s F56 discus throw. Wins Silver.
Athletics: Devendra Jhajharia wins Silver, Sundar Singh Gurjar wins Bronze.
Shooting: Swaroop Unhalkar finishes 4th in R1 - Men’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 final after leading for long parts.