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Trailblazing shooter Avani Lekhara on Friday became the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals by claiming the 50m Rifle 3 Position SH1 bronze to add to an unparalleled gold she had secured earlier in the ongoing Games here. The 19-year-old Lekhara, competing in her debut Games, qualified second for the event with a score of 1176, including 51 inner 10s.

Lekhara had become the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold by claiming the top honors in the 10m air rifle standing SH1 event. This is also the first ever shooting medal that India had won in the Games.

“It was a tough final but I’m happy to have made it into bronze. I could have done better than this. It’s just what finals do to you,” Lekhara said about her performance. She further added, “It is an amazing experience to win two medals in my first Paralympic Games. These two are my pet events. I was really working hard for these two for so many months. I gave my 100 per cent in the last shot.”

The Jaipur-based shooter, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012 rendering her immobile, had fired a world record equaling total of 249.6, which was also a new Paralympic record.


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Joydev Mishra

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