Road To Tokyo: Shooter Tejaswini Sawant Secures Olympic Quota
This season has proven to be brilliant for veteran women’s rifle shooter Tejaswini Sawant. The seasoned shooter secured India’s 12th Olympic quota in shooting by qualifying for the final of the women’s 50m rifle three positions event at the 14th Asian Championships at Doha, Qatar on Saturday. Sawant got ahead in the game by shooting the qualification score of 1171. The 39 year old earned her Tokyo quota by finishing fifth at the event. A shooter from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Sawant is in the final shooting squad for next year’s Tokyo Games and on the road to make her maiden Olympic appearance.
On Friday, Chinki Yadav grabbed the 11th quota in the final of women’s 25 m rapid pistol event.
Veteran women’s rifle shooter Sawant, who also competes in the 50m rifle prone, shot an incredible gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, last year. The other notable medals she has won in her career include gold at the World Championship, World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. She was just 13 when started her training in shooting.
In 2010, she became world champion in the 50m rifle prone event at Munich with a world-record equalling score. She is the first Indian woman shooter to win a gold medal at the Worlds.
- Tejaswini Sawant earns a quota place at 2020 Tokyo Olympics in women’s 50m rifle three-position as she qualifies for the final at Asian Championship.
- Sawant secured India’s 12th Olympic quota in shooting. If she is going to Tokyo Games, it will be her maiden Olympic appearance.
- Sawant, who also competes in the 50m rifle prone, has won gold at the World Championship, World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.
Daughter of an officer in Indian Navy, Sawant was a gold medallist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the 10m air rifle singles and pair events. The Arjuna awardee bagged a silver in 50 rifle prone singles and bronze in 50 m rifle prone at the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi. She also bagged a silver in 50 m rifle 3 positions event at the 2010 CWG. Although she didn’t have much luck at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sawant is now an officer in Maharashtra government. “I feel a lot of things haave changed for the better. There is good support from the government and parents. Things have changed in the shooting fraternity. Indians have also started coaching. Our coaches know the mentality and lifestyle of our shooters, which was not the case when foreigners coached us,” Sawant had earlier told DNA. “There are a lot of positive changes and that is reflecting in the results,” she added.
She also won a silver in the women’s 50m Rifle Prone Finals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, also setting a Games record in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 position Finals with total points of 457.9 at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Tejaswini became the first Indian woman to win a medal twice in this event at the Commonwealth Games. The only other Indian to win a medal in this event was Roopa Unnikrishnan
While this was 12th Olympic quota for Indian shooters, Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela, Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker, and Chinki Yadav are the other women who have already earned quotas.
Feature Image Credit: Sportskeeda