Avani wins gold at Paralympics

Avani wins gold at Paralympics

New Delhi: Life turned upside down for Avni Lekhara pretty early when a car accident rendered her immobile as an 11-year-old but what the tragedy could not do was take away her and her family's resolve to be a notch above the circumstances.

Lekhara sustained severe spinal cord injuries in the accident in 2012 but she took it upon herself to steer the course, helped generously by her father's insistence that she take up shooting.

A trainee of former Olympian shooter Suma Shirur, Lekhara became India's first woman gold medallist at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Monday when she shot a total of 249.6 in the 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1.

In doing so, the 19-year-old shooter from Jaipur created a new Paralympics record and also equalled the world record. She wasn't quite taken by the idea of being a full-time shooter but after reading Abhinav Bindra's autobiography 'A Shot At Glory', her deal with the precision sport was sealed.

Partly inspired by the story of India's first individual Olympic gold-medallist besides her own hard work and dedication, Lekhara crafted her own piece of history at her very first Paralympic appearance.

As the Tokyo Paralympics approached, the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic only complicated the journey to glory, badly affecting her essential physiotherapy routine.

"As someone with a spinal cord disability, I don't have any feeling below my waist. I still need to exercise my legs every day," Lekhara said.

"I used to have a physio who would come to my home daily to help me exercise and stretch my legs. Since then it's my parents who have to help me with those exercises. They do the best they can."

At the time she was paralysed waist down, studies seemed to be the only option but life had other ideas in store for her.

Ranked fifth in the world, Lekhara is set to compete in three more events -- mixed air rifle prone, women's 50m rifle 3 positions and mixed 50m rifle prone.

Speaking from Tokyo, an elated Lekhara said: "I feel so happy and grateful right now for this medal. I can't explain how I feel. I feel right on top of the world

"I dedicate my medal to all the Indians. It is just the start. I have a lot of competition days ahead and more medals to come. I have three more matches and am focusing on them and giving my 100 percent." 

Join Wakeup telangana Whatsapp Channel

About the author

Wake Up Telangana Picture

Wake Up Telangana English Daily Newspaper latest news from Telangana

Related Posts

Post Comment

Comment List


Latest News