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Avani Lekhara wins bronze, becomes first Indian woman to win 2 Paralympic medals

Friday, 3 September 2021 (12:50 IST)
Tokyo: India shooter Avani Lekhara cinched the bronze medal in the women's 50m rifle three positions SH1 event at the Tokyo Paralympics, here on Friday.

This was Lekhara's second medal of Tokyo Paralympics, making her the first Indian woman to win multiple medals at the Paralympics.

Prior to her, Joginder Singh Sodhi was the only Indian to win multiple medals in the same edition of the Games when he bagged one silver and two bronze medals in the 1984 Paralympics. His silver came in shot put, while the two bronze medals were won in discus and javelin throw.

Lekhara had earlier become the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold by claiming the top honours in the 10m air rifle standing SH1 event on Monday.

On Friday, the 19-year-old Lekhara qualified second for the event with a score of 1176. In the finals, she totalled 445.9 to finish third and clinch bronze medal.

China's Zhang Cuiping won the gold with a new Paralympic record of 457.9, while German Natascha Hiltrop took the silver with a 457.1 in the final.

Lekhara's bronze took the country’s medal haul to 12 in the ongoing Paralympics Games. India has now won two golds, six silvers and four bronzes.

Avani, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, started shooting on the insistence of her father in 2015.

She was also inspired by Olympic gold-medallist rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra after reading his autobiography. (UNI)

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