New Delhi [India], December 17 (ANI): Tokyo Paralympics champion Avani Lekhara took the 'Best Female Debut' accolade at the 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards as announced by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Thursday.
Indian shooting Para sport athlete Avani Lekhara was joined by Czech Republic's Boccia player Adam Peska as he took the Male Debut accolade.
Lekhara became the first-ever female Paralympic gold medallist from India. The 19-year-old broke the Paralympic record and equalled the World record in the women's 10m SH1 air rifle standing final.
She also won bronze in the women's 50m SH1 air rifle standing event to become the first Indian female to win two medals in the Paralympics. It was also India's first Paralympic medal in shooting.
"It's an honour for me to win this award. The focus was always on giving my best shot, bringing home medals for my country and showing that anything is possible with hard work, dedication and passion," Avani said after winning the 'Best Female Debut' honour.
"I went there, and I just thought 'take one shot at a time', and that's what I did. Just keeping my focus on the process, I was able to win a gold medal for my country," she added.
Dutch Wheelchair Tennis player Diede de Groot and Swiss Wheelchair Racer Marcel Hug won the 'Best Female Athlete' and 'Best Male Athlete' awards respectively.
De Groot won the Best Female category after taking the Tokyo 2020 women's singles and doubles titles without dropping a set in either competition. She became the first Wheelchair Tennis player to complete the calendar Golden Slam (winning all four Grand Slam titles and the Paralympic gold medal).
Hug took the Best Male award. He made a gold sweep in all the four events – 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, and the marathon – in the highly competitive T54 Wheelchair Racing class. The 'Silver Bullet' in the process also set a new World record in the 1,500m and a Paralympic record in the 5,000m heats. (ANI)