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2018 Commonwealth Games: Silver gives wings to Tejaswini Sawant’s shooting career

Though Tejaswini Sawant has won six medals in the Commonwealth Games and also bagged a World Championships gold in 50m rifle prone in 2010, she has yet to find success at the Asian Games and the Olympics.

other sports Updated: Apr 12, 2018 23:39 IST
Tejaswini Sawant of India waves after winning the silver medal during the women's 50m Rifle Prone final at the Belmont Shooting Centre during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday.
Tejaswini Sawant of India waves after winning the silver medal during the women's 50m Rifle Prone final at the Belmont Shooting Centre during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday.(AP)

The Commonwealth Games hold a special place in Tejaswini Sawant’s life. She came into national prominence when she was picked for the 2006 Commonwealth Games ahead of many seasoned shooters. She justified the selectors’ confidence by winning the individual and pairs gold in 10m air rifle at Melbourne.

Though she has won six medals in the Commonwealth Games and also bagged a World Championships gold in 50m rifle prone in 2010, she has yet to find success at the Asian Games and the Olympics.

In recent times, critics had started saying that the 37-year-old’s best years were behind her.

However, all her professional life the Kolhapur-born shooter has been proving her detractors wrong.

She started with 10m air rifle and moved to 50m prone and three-position.

It is her ability to adapt and come back with a vengeance that has amazed the shooting fraternity.

On Thursday, Tejaswini showed that there is still a lot left in her as she bagged silver in 50m prone, finishing with a score of 618.9. Singapore’s Martina Lindsay Veloso, who won the 10m air rifle gold two days back, bagged her second gold here with a Games record of 621, while Scotland’s Seonaid McIntosh finishing third with a total of 618.1. Anjum Moudgil was 16 with a score of 602.2.

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This was Tejaswini’s sixth CWG medal, making her one of the most successful Indian woman shooters in the quadrennial games. Apart from the two gold in Melbourne 2006, she has two silver in 50m prone and 3-position pairs event in 2010, and a bronze in the 50m prone pairs.

Incidentally, this was the second medal in 50m prone at the Commonwealth Games after Roopa Unnikrishnan won it at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

Tejaswini took India’s medals tally in shooting to 12 — four gold, three silver and five bronze.

She started with a score of 102.1 in the first series and continued to improve, regularly exceeding her first-round score. She made a strong charge with scores of 103.7 and 104.6, which helped her into the medals bracket. Despite the windy conditions, Tejaswani did not lose concentration and continued to shoot well.

“I’m aiming for the Olympic Games in Tokyo (2020), but next up is the Asian Games and then the World Championships in Korea (August-September 2018),” said Tejaswini.