Paralympics 2020: Avani Lekhara wins gold in shooting, Yogesh clinches silver in discus throwAugust 30, 2021
Indian paralympic shooter Avani Lekhara won country’s first gold medal in shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics in the women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday. While making India proud, India’s discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya clinched silver in the final F56 category. Yogesh came up with the best attempt of 44.38m to finish at the 2nd spot.
Lekhara,19, won the gold medal with a total score of 249.6 in the final. She equalled the world record. She qualified for the final finishing 7th in the qualification round with a total score of 621.7. Avani staged a good recovery after a slow start to advance to the finals of the showpiece event.
The 10m Air Rifle shooter hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan and she trains in the JDA Shooting Range in the Pink City. She suffered Traumatic Paraplegia caused by an accident in 2012.
Hailing the para shooting’s feat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated on Twitter. He wrote,” 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.”
India’s first individual Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra also heaped praise on Avani.
Yogesh Kathuniya misses gold
The 24-year-old, a B.Com graduate from New Delhi’s Kirorimal College, sent the disc to a best distance of 44.38m in his sixth and last attempt to clinch the silver. On Sunday, India had picked up a silver (high jump) and a bronze (discus throw), which is on hold due to a protest.
Son of an Army man, Kathuniya suffered a paralytic attack at the age of eight which left him with coordination impairments in his limbs.
Brazil’s defending champion, reigning world champion and world record holder Claudiney Batista dos Santos won the gold with a best throw of 45.59m while Leonardo Diaz Aldana (43.36m) of Cuba took the bronze.
In F56 classification, athletes have full arm and trunk muscle power. Pelvic stability is provided by some to full ability to press the knees together.
He won a bronze medal in the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai with a best throw of 42.51m which also booked him a Tokyo berth.
It was during his time at the KMC that his potential was noticed by several coaches and he soon came under the tutelage of Satyapal Singh at the Jawaharlal Nehuru Stadium.
A few years later, he came under the guidance of coach Naval Singh.
He created a world record in F36 category in his first ever international competition in 2018 at the Para-athletics Grand Prix in Berlin.
With PTI inputs