The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the athletes who have made the shortlist in the Best Female Debut category for the 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards, recognising the achievements from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony, which will be streamed live on the IPC’s YouTube Channel and Facebook page at 4pm CET on 16 December. ‘A Winning Mindset’ Paralympic podcast host Andy Stevenson and Australian Paralympic swimming legend Ellie Cole will host the Ceremony.
The shortlist for the Best Female Debut category is as follows:
Ambra Sabatini (Italy)
Ambra lost her left leg above the knee in June 2019 in a scooter accident while on her way to athletics training. Twenty-seven months after having taken up Para athletics, she won gold in 100m T63 smashing the world record she had set in the heats.
Avani Lekhara (India)
First ever female Paralympic gold medallist from India. The 19-year-old broke the Paralympic record and equalled the world record in the women's 10m SH1 air rifle standing final. She also won bronze in the women's 50m SH1 air rifle standing event to become the first Indian female to win two medals in the Paralympics. It was also India’s first Paralympic medal in shooting.
Leani Ratri Oktila (Indonesia)
The debutant had the most matches out of all the badminton competitors during the Games. She won 11 of her 12 and took the most medals. She secured two golds (doubles SL3-SU3 and the mixed doubles SL3-SU5) and one silver (singles SL4).
Winners will be announced across the following categories: Best Female, Best Male, Best Team, Best Female Debut, Best Male Debut and Best Official.
In addition to these six awards, the bp Courage Award will also be presented on 16 December recognising an athlete who best displayed the Paralympic value of courage at Tokyo 2020.