Tokyo Paralympics champion Avani Lekhara won gold at the Para Shooting World Cup with a world record score of 250.6 in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 in Chateauroux, France on Tuesday (June 7). The 20-year-old shooter broke her own world record of 249.6 to secure her a spot at the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
Poland’s Emilia Babska bagged the silver medal with a total of 247.6, while the bronze went to Anna Normann of Sweden after she shot 225.6. SH1 category is for athletes with lower limb impairment for competition in rifle events.
Lekhara bagged the top prize three days after being on the verge of missing the tournament as her coach and escort were initially denied visas. However, the issue was resolved after intervention of the Sports Authority of India and Sports Ministry.
“Proud to bring home the gold in the R2 10M Air Rifle SH1 event with a WR score & India’s 1st Paris2024 Quota, at the Chateauroux2022. My 1st Int. Event since the @paralympics. A big thank you to everyone who has supported me!” she tweeted.
Proud to bring home thein the R2 10M Air Rifle SH1 event with a WR score & s 1st #Paris2024 Quota, at the #Chateauroux2022. My 1st Int. event since the @paralympics. A big thank you to everyone who has supported me! @narendramodi @ianuragthakur @ParalympicIndia @Media_SAI https://t.co/mrtrrR2Qif pic.twitter.com/QF3A3vyupW
— Avani Lekhara avnii lkhraa PLY (@AvaniLekhara) June 7, 2022
“Avani Lekhara, the new WorldRecord holder in the R2 – women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1. The Indian shooter just crushed the former record (249.6) by scoring 250.6 in the Chateauroux2022 World Cup, in France!” Shooting Para Sport wrote on its Twitter handle.
In August last year, Lekhara bagged a gold in the 10m air rifle standing event in the SH1 category at the Tokyo Paralympics. She followed it up with a bronze in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 event, making her the first Indian woman to win multiple medals at the Paralympics.
(with PTI inputs)