After gold, shooter Avani wins bronze in Tokyo

Shooter Avani Lekhara on Friday became the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals.

Avani, 19, won bronze in the 50m Rifle 3 Position SH1 adding to an unprecedented gold she had secured earlier in the ongoing Games in Tokyo.          

 Avani, competing in her debut Games, qualified second for the event with a score of 1176, including 51 inner 10s.  

In the fiercely contested finals, Avani totalled 445.9 to finish ahead of Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik, who let slip her grip on the medal spot with a poor third shot of 9.9 in the elimination.   

“It was a tough final but I’m happy to have made it into bronze. I could have done better than this. It’s just what finals do to you,” Avani said of her performance.                        

Avani had become the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold by claiming the top honours in the 10m air rifle standing SH1 event. That was also the first-ever shooting medal that India had won in the Games.     

“There are a lot of things on which I have to work, and I will definitely do better than this next time. There were a lot of distractions but I gave my 100 per cent to this,” she said, referring to the celebrations that followed her gold medal.      

I was not satisfied with the gold only (laughs), when I won the gold, I wanted to fire that last shot better…so this bronze is definitely not satisfying,” Avani said in a virtual news conference facilitated by broadcasters Eurosport and the Paralympic Committee of India.  “I am keeping all the celebrations aside and focusing on the next match, so that is my goal, to give my 100 per cent in the next event also,” she said referring to the mixed 50m rifle prone event on Sunday.