Tokyo Paralympics champion Avani Lekhara was utterly dominant at the Para Shooting World Cup as she won the gold medal with an emphatic world record score of 250.6 in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 in Chateauroux, France on Tuesday. The 20-year-old broke her own previous world record of 249.6 to also secure a spot at the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
Avani Lekhara sets new World Record at Para Shooting World Cup
From being on the verge of almost missing the tournament due to visa issues, Avani Lekhara went on to bag the top prize at the Para Shooting World Cup. After her impressive performance, she took to her official Twitter account to express her happiness in winning the R2 10m Air Rifle SH1 event with a world record score and securing her place at the 2024 Paris Paralympics as a result. She ended her post by thanking the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and all the political leaders who had supported her.
She was followed by Poland’s Emilia Babska, who won silver with a score of 247.6. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Anna Normann won the bronze with a score of 225.6. SH1 category is for all athletes who have a lower limb impairment.
Wishes pour in as Avani Lekhara wins gold
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were among those who heaped praises on the athlete.
Heartiest Congratulations to Rajasthan’s paralympian @AvaniLekhara for winning Gold in the Women’s SH1 10m Air Rifle event with a world record at the Chateauroux Para Shooting World Cup in France. What a stellar performance!
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) June 7, 2022
Heartiest congratulations Champ @AvaniLekhara
You have made India proud again 🙇♂️🙇♀️
And we take pride in being part of your sporting success 🙂
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) June 7, 2022
Lekhara was at risk of missing Para Shooting WC due to visa issues
Avani Lekhara had taken to her official social media account on June 4 to express her disappointment about her coach and her escort not being granted a visa to France. However, soon after, she expressed her delight in her team receiving visas thanks to the intervention of the SAI and the Sports Ministry.
The SAI confirmed that the visas of the remaining athletes and support staff of the Indian para shooting contingent were cleared by the French embassy after further requests from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Ministry of External Affairs.
The pending visas of 3 athletes and 4 support staff of the Indian Para Shooters contingent going to France for competition has been cleared by the French embassy after further requests from MYAS and MEA. The team will fly out to France tomorrow.@IndiaSports @MEAIndia https://t.co/0O70TeW2hE
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) June 4, 2022
The Para Shooting World Cup, which takes place from June 4 to 13 in France, is of huge importance to the Paralympics athletes as the Paris Paralympics quota places are on offer here.