New Delhi, Aug 30: President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the political brass of the country in congratulating the Indian Paralympic athletes, who made the nation proud with their rich haul of medals at the Tokyo Games on Monday.
Two-time gold-winning javelin throw veteran Devendra Jhajharia clinched a stupendous third Paralympic medal, a silver this time, while discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya also finished second as India surpassed its best ever medal tally at the Games on Monday. Sundar Singh Gurjar also chipped in with a bronze, finishing behind Jhajharia in the men's javelin throw F46 final. India's medal count has now risen to seven, including one gold (shooting), three more than the four secured in the 2016 Rio Games.
Besides, shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event in Tokyo.
The 19-year-old from Jaipur, 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.
"Delighted to see our Paralympians bring more glory to the nation! Yogesh Kathuniya wins silver in discus throw, Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar bags silver and bronze respectively in javelin throw. Congratulations! Every Indian is celebrating your success," President Kovind tweeted.
"Another daughter of India makes us proud! Congratulations to Avani Lekhara for creating history and becoming the first Indian woman to win a Gold at #Paralympics. India is elated by your stellar performance! Our tricolour flies high at the podium due to your phenomenal feat," Kovind wrote in another tweet.
PM Modi also took to the social networking site to pass across his wishes to the proud para athletes.
"Superb performance by @DevJhajharia! One of our most experienced athletes wins a Silver medal. Devendra has been making India continuously proud. Congratulations to him. Best of luck for his future endeavours. #Paralympics
"India is overjoyed by the Bronze medal won by @SundarSGurjar. He has shown remarkable courage and dedication. Congratulations to him. Wishing him the very best. #Paralympics," he wrote.
"Outstanding performance by Yogesh Kathuniya. Delighted that he brings home the Silver medal. His exemplary success will motivate budding athletes. Congrats to him. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours. #Paralympics "Phenomenal performance @AvaniLekhara! Congratulations on winning a hard-earned and well-deserved Gold, made possible due to your industrious nature and passion towards shooting. This is truly a special moment for Indian sports. Best wishes for your future endeavours," Modi added.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also congratulated the para athletes for bringing glory to the country.
"Indian players have performed exceptionally well in the men's javelin throw event (F46) at the Tokyo Paralympics. Devendra Jhajharia won silver medal and Sundar Singh Gurjar won bronze medal. The nation is proud of your successes. Best wishes for future successes.
"Congratulations to Yogesh Katunia, who won a gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, and a silver medal in the men's discus throw. The country is proud of their achievements. I wish their future a bright future.#Paralympics," he tweeted. "The entire nation is proud of your accomplishments. My best wishes for your bright future ahead," Naidu added.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur also wished para shooter Lekhara on her tremendous feat. "Amazing Avani winsFirst place medal. A historic achievement as she becomes the only woman in Olympics & Paralympics to win a gold !
"Shooting in 10m AR Standing SH1 Final. Score of 249.6 creating a Paralympic Record. Equalling the World Record," Thakur wrote on his twitter handle.