Avani Lekhara wins 'Best Female Debut' honour at Paralympic Awards

Indian shooter Avani Lekhara on Thursday won the "Best Female Debut" honour at the 2021 Paralympic Awards for her record-breaking gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

FILE PHOTO: Indian shooter Avani Lekhara on Thursday won the "Best Female Debut" honour at the 2021 Paralympic Awards for her record-breaking gold medal at the Tokyo Games.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Indian shooter Avani Lekhara on Thursday won the "Best Female Debut" honour at the 2021 Paralympic Awards for her record-breaking gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

The 20-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injury in a car accident in 2012, won the gold in the women's 10m Air Rife Standing SH1 event earlier this year.

With that special feat, she had broken the Paralympic Games record besides equalling the world record.

She also won a bronze in the 50m Rifle Three Positions Standing SH 1 event, becoming the first Indian female to win two medals in Games' history.

She was awarded Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour, for the achievement.

 

"It is an hour for me to win this award. The focus was always on giving my best shot and bringing back medals for my country and showing that anything is possible with hard work, dedication and passion," said Avani in a video posted by the twitter handle of Paralympic Games.

Recalling her experience of her maiden Paralympic Games, Avani said she approach the competition, one shot at a time.

"It was a dream come true for me at that time. When I came back to India, I met a lot of people. I went back to my school and kids there came to me and said they are inspired by me and also want to take up sport.

"It is amazing but with success comes a lot of responsibility," she added.

India won an unprecedented 19 medals at the Paralympic Games including five gold, eight silver and six bronze.

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