Tokyo: Indian shooter Avani Lekhara fell short of words when asked to describe the feeling of winning a Gold medal in women's R2 — 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 event at the Paralympic Games on Monday (August 30).
Avani became the first Indian woman in history to win a Paralympic Gold medal on Monday. The 19-year-old athlete said she felt like she was on top of the world.
"I'm feeling so happy, so grateful so elated for everything. When I won gold I was so happy that I couldn't believe it, I felt like I am on top of the world. I was so happy," Avani told ANI.
Avani finished with a Paralympic Record and in-process equalled the World Record with 249.6 points.
However, the road to the finals was not as easy. Avani started poorly in qualification and then staged a comeback.
The Indian shooter started the final at a very good pace as she scored consistently above 10 points. Just two of her shots went below 10 in the 1st competition stage, which landed her in the second position. Going into the elimination stage, Avani grabbed the first spot and maintained a very healthy lead against her opponents.
"I was just focusing on my game, taking one shot at a time. I just wanted to give my hundred per cent that's it, wasn't thinking about the medal," said Avani.
"I believe everyone can do whatever they want, you just have to have faith in yourself. Just give your 100 per cent and you can do anything you want," she added.
The young para-athlete dedicated her medal to all the citizens of the country who supported her during the journey.
"I would like to dedicate my medal to all the Indians, all of them have supported me, I'm so thankful and grateful to each one of them," she signed off.