Shooter Avani Lekhara Becomes First Indian Woman to Win Gold at Games

Avani lekhara gold medalist

Shooter Avani Lekhara Becomes First Indian Woman to win gold at Games

Avani lekhara change the history of India to become a first women  who wins gold medals in Tokyo Paralympics 2020 in Games.

Avani lekhara is the fourth indian athete to win a paralympics gold.

tokyo paralympics : shooter avani lekhara create history on monday as became the first goldmedlist in india. the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event here.

Avani Lekhara made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in shooting at an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Shooter Avani Lekhara

Lekhara took gold after scoring 249.6 in women’s 10m air rifle standing (SH1), whilst also equalling the world record (EWR) and breaking the Paralympic record.

“I can’t describe this feeling, I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world. It’s unexplainable,” Lekhara said.

“I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully there’s a lot of medals more to come,” the 19-year-old said about winning India’s first Paralympic shooting medal ever.

Throughout the finals, the Para shooter showed nerves of steel whilst targeting only one thing: to get the job done. Youth overpowered experience when she defeated reigning Paralympic champion ZHANG Cuiping of People’s Republic of China, who scored 248.9 to take silver.

“I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time. There’s nothing else matters now, just take one shot at a time and just finish it,” Leksha said

“I just think that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally.”

Making her Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Leksha’s gold medal – the country’s first gold medal at Tokyo 2020 – now brings India’s medal tally to five.

“Summer vacations 2015, my father took me to the shooting range. I shot some shots and they were pretty OK. So I just started as a hobby, and here I am,” Leksha said.

She was inspired to take the sport seriously after reading a book by Indian Olympic shooting champion Abinav Bindra, setting her mind to equal Bindra’s achievements.

And the Olympic shooting legend congratulated Leksha after her historic victory:

“Gold it is! Brilliant display by @AvaniLekhara to win India its first Paralympic gold medal in shooting. Immensely proud! Many congratulations on your shot at history,” Brinda posted on his Twitter account.

With this victory, Lekhara will serve as a great role model for everyone who is thinking of taking up a sport or a para sport:

“When you are a para-athlete, people start judging you. To live with a disability is a victory in itself,” she told the Bridge in early August ahead of the Paralympic Games.

Lekhara still has two more opportunities to add more gold medals to her trophy cabinet. She will compete two qualification rounds in the mixed 10m air rifle qualification, women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 and mixed 50m rilfe prone SH1 in the next few days.



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Jaipur, IND
Athlete, Student
English, Hindi
Higher education
Law – University of Rajasthan: Jaipur, IND

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began shooting in 2015 at Jagatpura Sports Complex in Jaipur, India.
Why this sport?
Her father encouraged her to get involved in a sport, and she initially tried both shooting and archery. She found she enjoyed shooting more, and was also inspired by Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra after reading his book.

International debut

Competing for
World Cup
Al Ain, UAE

General interest

Listening to music, watching films and television, cooking, baking, spending time with her family. (Twitter profile, 27 Feb 2019; NewsX YouTube channel, 06 Jun 2020)
Hero / Idol
Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra. (, 26 Nov 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
“Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those cards you hold well.” (Twitter profile, 27 Feb 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2019 she was named Most Promising Paralympic Athlete by the GoSports Foundation in India. (GoSports Foundation Twitter profile, 14 Dec 2019)
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 26 Nov 2019)
She sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012. (, 26 Nov 2019)
Other information

Speaking in 2020 she said that the COVID-19 pandemic had not only affected her shooting training, but was having an impact on 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. 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. My physiotherapist has to travel from across Jaipur [India] to come to where I stay. It’s a long way for her to travel. For shooting training, as I can’t do live firing at home, I am doing a lot of dry firing and wall holding which we can do without pellets and ammunition. And these will also build my core muscles.” (, 24 Jun 2020)



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