Paralympics: Rajasthan shooter Avani gets laurels for winning gold in Tokyo

Jaipur : Rajasthan girl Avani Lakhara is getting laurels on social media after winning the 10m air rifle gold (SH1 category) at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Monday .

Avani became the first Indian female athlete to win a gold medal in either the Olympics or the Paralympics when the 19-year-old shot a world record score of 249.6 in the finals of the air rifle event in Tokyo. Before her, shot-putter Deepa Malik (2016 Rio) and para-table tennis player Bhavina Patel (2020 Tokyo) were the most decorated Indian female sportspersons at the Paralympics.

Avani has been confined to a wheelchair since 2012 after meeting with an accident.

According to her father, Praveen, Avani and he met with an accident while going to Dholpur from Jaipur. He was posted in Dholpur at that time. While he recovered soon, his daughter was unable to stand as her spinal cord got damaged in the mishap.

Avani was quite demotivated but her parents kept pushing her to pursue shooting sport and compete at the Paralympic Games. She wanted to do something different in life and hence made shooting her profession.

Even during the lockdown, Avani continued making preparations for the Paralympic Games.

On Monday, Avani’s father was flooded with calls from well-wishers, wanting to congratulate him on his daughter’s success.

Among those who have called or sent congratulatory messages include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.