Pune shooter Tejaswini thanks her in-laws for CWG gold
Tejaswini won a silver in the women's 50m rifle prone and a gold in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position finals. She set a games record (GR) with total a point score of 457.9. This is the seventh CWG medal for Tejaswini. In 2006, she won two gold medals and in 2010, two silver and a bronze.pune Updated: Apr 15, 2018 23:35 IST
Shooter Tejaswini Sawant was accorded a true hero’s welcome as she touched down in Pune on Sunday, returning from a medal winning performance - gold and silver - at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.
The 37-year-old shooter is originally from Kolhapur, but in 2016 married Pune businessman Sameer Darekar and currently resides in Baner.
Wrestler Rahul Aware, originally of Beed, but now also training in the city, also won gold at the Gold Coast event. The city lay claim to his gold as its first CWG medal.
Tejaswini won a silver in the women's 50m rifle prone and a gold in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position finals. She set a games record (GR) with total a point score of 457.9. This is the seventh CWG medal for Tejaswini. In 2006, she won two gold medals and in 2010, two silver and a bronze.
“It feels great to see our Indian tricolour flying high in a foreign land. I always feel proud when I see the spectators standing up for our national anthem. I am very happy that I have managed to bring back the glory after a long wait,” said Tejaswini, after landing in Pune.
“I would like to thank my in-laws, who supported me. I have seen many shooters’ careers end after marriage, but in my case, I am still continuing my career and hoping to do better every time. Now, I have a medal from every competition except the Olympics. That’s my next aim. This CWG performance was a stepping stone for the preparations for the 2020 Olympics,” she added.
Tejaswini was born to Ravindra Sawant, a Naval officer and Sunita in Kolhapur. Ravindra acted as a mentor to his daughter and always encouraged her to pursue a sports career.
Interestingly, her first Commonwealth medal came in Australia, when she won two gold medals in the 10m air rifle pairs and 10m air rifle individual in Melbourne in 2006.
Her career graph was rising till 2010, when she won two silver and one bronze at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
However, the same year she lost her father and it was a major emotional blow for the shooter. She stayed away from the sport for a few months and after returning, found it difficult to focus. Though she received the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2011, she struggled to find a rhythm. Then ahead of the 2014 Commonwealths, her mother fell ill and the pressure of home and career took its toll and she missed out on getting into the team.
After her marriage in 2016, she slowly began to pick up the momentum. With access to training facilities in Pune, she rose to the occasion and has now made a strong comeback on the international circuit.