Para-shooter Avani Lekhara receives Padma Shri

Para-shooter Avani Lekhara receives Padma Shri

Indian Paralympic shooter Avani Lekhara on Monday was conferred with the Padma Shri award, in the field of sports.

Avani Lekhara (born 8 November 2001) is an Indian Paralympician and Rifle Shooter. She won a gold medal in 10m air rifle standing and a bronze medal in 50 m rifle 3 positions at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Lekhara is currently World No. 2 in Women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 (World Shooting Para Sports Rankings) and has competed in the 2018 Asian Para Games.  She has been supported by Go Sports Foundation through the Para Champions Programme. She is also the first Indian woman to win multiple medals in a single Paralympic Games. She has been given out of turn appointment as Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) by the Government of Rajasthan.

Lekhara is the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal. Lekhara also won India’s first gold medal at the 2020 Summer Paralympics. With a score of 249.6 points in the final event, the young shooter set a Paralympic record and tied the world record. She began shooting in 2015, inspired by former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, and has since won several national and international titles. On 3 September 2021, she became the first Indian female Paralympian to win two medals in Paralympics history after claiming bronze in women’s 50m air rifle standing event.

She is currently coached by Indian shooter Suma Shirur.

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