Avani Lekhara on Monday said that she felt "on top of the world" after she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. Lekhara won the gold in the Women's 10m air rifle category at Tokyo Paralympics 2020 on Monday.
"I can't describe this feeling, I'm feeling like I'm on top of the world. It's unexplainable," she told PTI after the historic triumph.
Sharing her game strategy, Lekhara said that focussing on only one shot at a time and shutting out everything else did the trick for her.
On being asked how she stayed so calm throughout the tournament, the athlete said, "I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time and there's nothing else that matters more than that right now, just one shot at a time and just finish it. I thought that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally."
Lekhara also said that she hopes India gets many more medals and that she feels extremely lucky to be able to contribute some to India's tally.
"I'm so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully, there's a lot of medals more to come.".
"It seems very homely when I lift a rifle. I feel a connection towards it. When you have to focus and the consistency, that's what I like about shooting," she said.
Also Read: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games full medal table
Lekhara met with a car accident in 2012 at the age of 11 and suffered injuries to her spinal cord, which resulted in Paraplegia - or paralysis that affects all or parts of the torso, legs and pelvic organs. However, this could not deter her aspirations and she found her interest in shooting after her father took her to a shooting range.
For Avani, Indian Olympian Abhinav Bindra's gold victory serves as an inspiration and she always wanted to emulate her icon to win gold for the country in the shooting category. Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
Lekhara, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record-equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.