Tokyo Paralympics: Avani Lekhara finishes 28th as Indian shooters fail to qualify for Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 finals

No Indian shooter could reach the finals of the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 event, with Avani Lekhara finishing 28th in the qualification.

Avani Lekhara was left disappointed, Image credit: Twitter
By Arnab Mukherji | Sep 5, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

India’s shooting campaign in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics has ended with the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 event, which did not witness the qualification of a single Indian shooter for the final. Avani Lekhara finished 28th in the qualification stage, marking the conclusion of a historic campaign that saw the nation win a supreme five medals in the sport. Siddhartha Babu came closest to making the cut for the final, but missed the mark by a whisker. He finished ninth in the qualification round. Siddhartha recorded a score of 617.2, which was just 0.2 behind China’s Chao Dong (617.4). Deepak, the third Indian in fray, finished third from bottom at 46th after shooting a score of 602.2.

Athletes in the SH1 Rifle category battle an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia. The mixed event features shooters across genders.

Avani Lekhara’s exploits in Tokyo Paralympics

Avani is the first Indian woman to win multiple medals in the history of the Paralympics. She is further the only Indian woman to win two medals in the same edition of the Paralympics. The shooter achieved the unique distinction after winning a bronze medal in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 event.

Avani had finished second, a point behind Sweden’s Anna Normann in the qualification. The Swedish shooter and the 19-year-old both had bettered the previous qualification world record with some fantastic shooting. Avani had struggled a bit in the kneeling position during the qualification round, but found her range in the prone and standing to improve her position.

The Indian shooter was slow to get off the mark in the final, scoring a 9.8 and 9.7 in her first two shots. However, she made amends for the same soon, recording a 10.9 in her fourth shot.

Avani becomes the first Indian woman to win gold

Avani had earlier scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the history of the Paralympics or even the Olympics. The Indian shooter achieved this unique distinction in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 event, delivering a sensational performance.

The 19-year-old emerged victorious with a total score of 249.6, equalling the current world record. She further scripted a new landmark in the history of the Paralympics, following her sensational tally registered under pressure. Avani’s 249.6 marks the highest score ever recorded in shooting in the prestigious ongoing event, showcasing her brilliance when it mattered the most. The 19-year-old helped India record its first-ever medal in shooting in the history of the Paralympics.

Singhraj Adhana third Indian to win two medals in a single edition of the Paralympics

While winning even a single medal in major events like the Paralympics is considered a massive feat, shooter Singhraj Adhana has managed to achieve the same on two occasions in an exemplary feat. Singhraj won a silver medal in the Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 Final, with a score of 216.7. He finished very close to 19-year-old Manish Narwal who recorded a gold medal after scripting a new Paralympics record following a score of 218.2 in the same event.

Manish delivered a fantastic performance, with Singhraj further becoming the third Indian to win two medals in a single edition of the Paralympics. The former holds a world record score in the Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 event. Singhraj had earlier won a bronze medal in the P1 men’s 10m air pistol SH1 event, showcasing his prowess to the core.