Meet Tejaswini Sawant, who made her Olympic debut at the age of 40 years.
It is said that there is no age to start a new work and it depends on the person and the direction they take forward. The shooter, who spent her childhood in trouble, had to take a loan to buy a rifle at one time. Not only this, the situation had become such that at one point she had to decide to leave even her favorite sport. Her father inspired her to continue what she loved.
The players who have made their place in the Olympic Games also have their own identity and their passion to move forward is visible. Tejaswini has a successful career, as she clinched a plethora of medals at Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships. Tejaswini Sawant’s dream of playing in the Olympics has been broken twice. She tried her best to go to the 2008 Beijing Olympics first and the 2012 London Olympics for the second time. However, now her dream is going to be fulfilled in the Tokyo Olympics.
Tejaswini Sawant, 40, is also one such player going to the Olympics from India, who is not bound by age limits and is making her Olympic debut at the age of 40.
Tejaswini showed her talent by winning the Arjuna Award
She was born on 12 September 1980, Tejaswini has climbed a lot in her career. Tejaswini, the eldest of three sisters, used to take training from Jaisingh Kusale in Kolhapur itself. Gradually she increased her game and got selected as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Sports Department. Tejaswini won the Arjuna Award on 29 August 2011. She first led India to victory in the 9th South Asian Sports Federation Games in 2004. These games were played in Islamabad Pakistan and here Tejaswini was given the gold medal.
She also won gold in Commonwealth Games
Tejaswini Sawant also won gold medals for India in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the 10m Air Rifle Singles and 10m Women’s Pair Rifle events. These games were played in Melbourne, Australia.
She has shown her strength in ISSF World Cup and Championship
Tejaswini won the bronze medal in the 2009 ISSF World Cup. After this, Tejaswini won the gold medal in the World Championship held in Munich on 8 August 2010. She became the first female champion to win a gold in shooting at the World Championships.
She won a medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games
The year 2010 proved to be very good for Tejaswini where she won one bronze and two silver medals in three different events at the Commonwealth Games.
She also won in the 2018 Commonwealth Games
Tejaswini participated in two different events in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and won medals in both. She won a silver medal in the finals of the Women’s 50m Rifle Prone held on 12 April, while a day later, she won the gold medal in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Position final event held on 13 April. From 2017 till now, Tejaswini has continuously raised her game.
In 2016, Tejaswini married builder Sameer Darekar. Tejaswini had always been trying to improve her game and her mother Sunita Sawant has also been a state-level cricket and volleyball champion. Tejaswini, who started shooting at the age of 13, has gradually reached this level. Tejaswini has a 50m Rifle 3 Positions qualifying event on 31st July.
Tejaswini has taken her steps towards victory and the eyes of the whole country are on her. She has inspired many young Indians to take up shooting, including another based shooter Rahi Sarnobat. Tejaswini Sawant’s appearance at her maiden Olympic Games in Tokyo is the perfect example of perseverance and hard work. This is an important message for all Indians that age is not a barrier to have dreams. With years of experience and her hunger for the Olympic medal, Sawant can achieve the podium finish if she reaches her peak performance on match day.