Asian Para Games: Avani wins gold as India makes stunning start with 17 medals on Day 1 (roundup)

Hangzhou (China), Oct 23 India kicked off their campaign in the 2022 Asian Para Games with a sensational opening day haul of six gold, six silver and five bronze medals in Hangzhou on Monday.

The gold medals were bagged by Paralympic Games gold medallist shooter Avani Lekhara in R2 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1, Pranav Soorma in Men’s Club Throw-F51, Shailesh Kumar in Men’s High Jump – T63, Praveen Kumar in Men’s High Jump-T64, Ankur Dhama in Men’s 5000m-T11 Final and Nishad Kumar in Men’s High Jump-T47.

Canoeist Prachi Yadav in Women’s VL2, judoka Kapil Parmar in Men’s 60kg J1, Dharambir in Para Club Throw Men’s F51, shooter Rudransh Khandelwal in Mixed 50m Pistol – SH1, Ram Pal in Men’s High Jump – T47 and Paralympic Games medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu won the silver medals for the country.

Hockey player=turned club thrower Ajay Kumar Saroha won bronze medal in the Men’s Club Throw – F61 while Monu Ghangas in Men’s Shot Put – F11, judoka Kokila in Para judo women’s 48kg J2, Aruna Tanwar in Women’s K44-47 kg taekwondo and Unni Renu in Men’s High Jump T64, T44 were the others to win bronze medals.

It was a sensational display by the Indian contingent on the opening day of competitions and none symbolised their excellence than Avani Lekhera, who set a new Asian Para Games record in the R2 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 category.

Avani, who made her mark by winning a gold and a bronze medal in the Covid-postponed 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, shot a score of 249.6 to win the gold medal. The World No.1 in her category, Avani finished ahead of China’s Yixin Zhong (247.5) and Cuiping Zhang (225.8) who claimed silver and bronze respectively.

India also dominated the Men’s Club Throw-F51 Final, making a clean sweep of the podium withPranav Soorma, Dharambir and Amit Kumar winning the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.

There were also achieved a double podium finish for Indians in the three high jump events conducted on the opening day as Shailesh Kumar and Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold and silver medals in Men’s High Jump-T63.

In the Men’s High Jump T64, Praveen Kumar won gold and Unni Renu took bronze while in the Men’s High Jump – T47, Nishad Kumar won gold and Ram Pal took silver medal.

Aruna Tanwar also made history for India by becoming the first Indian taekwondo player to win a medal in the Asian Para Games.

This is India’s best opening in the Asian Para Games and the country can expect its best medal haul ever as Paralympic Games medallists Pramod Bhagat, and Sukant Kadam led the Indian charge in badminton while in table tennis, in table tennis, another Paralympic Games medallist Bhavina Patel led the charge for the country.

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