Shooting star gets rousing welcome

Tejaswini Sawant won a gold medal at World Championships

“I am Maharashtra's daughter and I will win wherever I go,” Tejaswini Sawant has said. The winner of the 50-m rifle prone event at the World Championships in Munich was met by Puneites who had gathered to honour her here on Tuesday.

“I am overwhelmed by all the love showered on me,” Tejaswini said. She said that the officers in Balewadi Stadium, where she is serving as Officer on Special Duty, were very supportive. “This victory feels like all our efforts paid off,” she said.

Mayor Rajpal Singh presented her with Rs. 1 lakh and president of the Pune unit of the Congress Abhay Chajjed gifted her Rs. 51,000. “This Marathi mulgi (girl) has etched India's name in gold on the world map,” Mr. Chajjed said.

According to Tejaswini, the shooting range in the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune helped her practise, eventually resulting in a score of 597 at the World Championships. “The wind and sunshine in Pune is perfect for practising. I will continue to practise here for all upcoming international events,” she said.

On the preparations for the championships, Tejaswini said that she had prepared for more than three years. “Mental and physical preparations both take time,” she said. “I can imagine how happy my father would have been. I miss him a lot. It was his dream to see me win a world championship,” she tearfully said.

She recounted the tough times that she went through after her father passed away earlier this year. “I was depressed but every player goes through tough times and I have overcome them,” she said.

Tejaswini was accompanied by her mother, Sunita Sawant.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone, Tejaswini's younger sister Anuradha Pitre said that she was very proud of her sister who had strived to achieve success right from her school days.

  • ‘She has etched India's name in gold on the world map'
  • ‘I am overwhelmed by all the love showered on me'

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