|Famous For||Being the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 160 cm
in meters- 1.60 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 3”
|International Debut||2017: World Cup Tournament at Al Ain, UAE|
|Event||10m air rifle standing SH1|
|Personal Coach||Suma Siddharth Shirur|
|National Coach||Subhash Rana|
• 10m Rifle, Prone and 3P events at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup, Dubai in 2018
• 3 Gold medals in the 63rd National Shooting Championships, Bhopal in 2019
• 3 Gold medals in the XIX Kumar Surendra Singh Memorial Shooting Championship, New Delhi in 2019
• She bagged a gold medal with a world record score of 250.6 in Women's 10. Rifle standing SH1 at the Chateauroux Para Shooting World Cup in June 2022. The Times of India
• On 11 June 2022, she clinched her second gold medal in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 finals at the Chateauroux 2022 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in France. The Hindu
• R2 10-metre Air Rifle Standing SH1 at the Asian Para Games on 23 October 2023
• R2 at the WSPS World Cup Al Ain in 2021
• R2 at the WSPS World Cup in Osijek in 2019
• Junior World Record in R2 at the WSPS World Cup AlAin in 2017
• XIX Kumar Surendra Singh Memorial Shooting Championship, New Delhi in 2019
• R2 at the WSPS World Cup Bangkok in 2017
• 63rd National Shooting Championships, Bhopal in 2019
|Awards||2021: Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award
2022: Padma Shri (Sports) 2022
|Date of Birth||8 November 2001 (Thursday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||20 Years|
|Birthplace||Jaipur, Rajasthan, India|
|Hometown||Jaipur, Rajasthan, India|
|School||Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jaipur|
|College/University||University of Rajasthan|
|Educational Qualification(s)||• She received her school education from Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jaipur. Scroll
• A Law at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India Paralympic Website
|Hobbies||Listening to music, watching films and television, cooking, baking|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Praveen Lekhara (state government tax officer)
Mother- Shweta Lekhara (state government tax officer)
Grandfather- Name Not Known
|Siblings||Brother- Arnav Lekhara
Some Lesser Known Facts About Avani Lekhara
- Avani Lekhara is an Indian rifle shooter who won a gold medal in 10m air rifle standing at Tokyo Paralympics in 2021 by defeating her opponent China’s Zhang Cuiping in the final event. She also clinched a bronze medal in a 50m air rifle shooting in Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. In 2021, she held the world’s 5th position at World Shooting Para Sports Rankings in Women’s 10m Air Rifle shooting. In 2018, she also participated in Asian Para Games where she clinched a gold medal.
- GoSports Foundation supports her in shooting sports through the Para Champions Programme.
- In 2012, she met with a car accident when she was 11 years old. This accident left her with complete paraplegia, a spinal cord injury that paralyses the lower limbs. Later, her father motivated her to join sports. Initially, she got trained in archery. However, she found her true passion in shooting, and eventually, she followed it.
- In an interview with Hindustan Times, Avani Lekhara expressed her emotions related to her accident that left her paralysed below her waist in 2012. She said,
Prior to the accident, I had always participated in co-curricular activities in school, like dancing, but after that everything changed. I was very angry at my physical condition. It was causing severe mental agony. I had no desire to talk to anyone.”
- In 2015, she started shooting at Jagatpura Sports Complex in Jaipur, India. She got the inspiration to choose shooting as a sport from the former Olympic Champion Abhinav Bindra.
- Since 2015, she has won several medals in national and international shooting events.
- In 2017, the major breakthrough of her life came when she won a silver at the Al Ain Para Shooting World Cup, UAE.
- In 2017, she was honoured with the Rising Star award by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, for her outstanding performance in shooting.
- In 2017, she won a silver medal in Dubai Paralympic Championships.
- Her sports philosophy is,
Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those cards you hold well.”
- In 2019, the GoSports Foundation in India named her the Most Promising Paralympic Athlete. Paralympic Website
- In 2019, Avani shared a post on her Instagram account where she compared her two pictures after ten years of her accident.
- In 2020, in conversation with the Times of India, Avani Lekhara revealed her situations related to her disability and her shooting training. She explained,
As someone with a spinal cord disability, I don’t have any feeling below my waist. I still need to exercise my legs every day. I used to have a physio who would come to my home daily to help me exercise and stretch my legs. Since then it’s my parents who have to help me with those exercises. They do the best they can. My physiotherapist has to travel from across Jaipur to come to where I stay. It’s a long way for her to travel.”
She further explained her shooting difficulties,
For shooting training, as I can’t do live firing at home, I am doing a lot of dry firing and wall holding which we can do without pellets and ammunition. And these will also build my core muscles.”
- In 2020, amid the COVID-19 lockdown, Avani Lekhara demonstrated few exercise tips to wheelchair persons on her social media account.
@AvaniLekhara International Ace @ShootingPara demonstrates few exercises @ home for Wheelchair Persons #IndiaFightsCoronavirus @narendramodi @Paralympics @asianparalympic @Jaiprakashnauti @KirenRijiju @RijijuOffice @CEO_Cairn @CairnOilandGas @HeroMotoCorp @DeepaAthlete @swamiiii pic.twitter.com/K8eLCEixkD
— Paralympic India 🇮🇳 (@ParalympicIndia) April 6, 2020
- In the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, she scored 249.6 points in the final round and set a Paralympic and world record. In a conversation with Hindustan Times, she said,
I can’t describe this feeling, I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world. It’s unexplainable. I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute to it. Hopefully, there’s a lot of medals more to come. I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute to it. Hopefully, there’s a lot of medals more to come.”
🇮🇳 National Anthem at Tokyo🇮🇳
Avani Lekhara clinches India's first gold in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics by winning the women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event.Avani becomes the only #IND woman to win a Gold 🥇 in Olympics/Paralympics #AvaniLekhara pic.twitter.com/ZGTZOzGCcb
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) August 30, 2021
- In 2021, after winning a gold medal at Paralympics in 2020 Tokyo, she became the first Indian women Para shooter to win this medal. The Hindu
- On 30 August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Avani Lekhara on Twitter after winning a gold medal for India in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
- Avani Lekhara is a pet lover. She often posts pictures of her pet dog on her social media account.
- Avani with her personal coach Suma Shirur.
- In 2021, she dedicated her medal to the whole country that she clinched at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. While talking to the India Today’s correspondent after winning the gold medal, she said,
This medal is not mine, it’s for the entire country. I want to dedicate this medal to the entire country.”
- Avani won a gold medal in the women’s R2 10-metre Air Rifle Standing SH1 category at the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China, on 23 October 2023. She set a new record with a score of 249.6 points at the event. Outlook