Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tejaswini Sawant wins Gold in World Championship 2010 50m Air Rifle

Tejaswini Sawant (born: 12 September 1980)

is an Indian shooter from the Maharashtrian city of Kolhapur. In 2006, she won gold medals in Women's 10m Air Rifle singles and Women's 10m Air Rifle Pairs (with Avneet Kaur Sidhu) events at the Commonwealth Games at Melbourne. In 2010 she became the World Champion in the 50m Rifle Prone event in Munich, Germany. She was selected to represent India at Commonwealth Games ahead of Asian Games gold medallist Anjali Ved Pathak Bhagwat and world record holder Suma Shirur after winning 5 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 5 bronze medals at the national championships. She has also represented India at the 9th South Asian Sports Federation Games in 2004 in Islamabad where she helped India win gold medal.

Tejaswini Sawant won the 50m rifle prone event at the World Shooting Championship, while equalling the world record.

Tejaswini said she could have broken the world record but nerves got the better of her in the last shot. "When I came to know that I would break the world record if I shoot 100, I became nervous. That affected my performance in the last shot in which I scored 99. But I am very happy to become the first Indian woman to win gold in a World Championship."

Before the historic feat, the Indian's best show came at the same range last year when she won the bronze medal in the World Cup. "Yes, this range is turning out to be my favourite," she said. However, the super show didn't get India another quota place for London Games as women's rifle prone event is not an Olympic event. Tejaswini won two gold medals in the 2006 Melbourne CWG in the air rifle event.

National coach Sunny Thomas said the Kolhapur shooter was the second to be signed by Walther at the meet after Gagan Narang. "Walther will now provide her with the rifle and spare parts and will also take care of the service," said Thomas, who signed on the contract on behalf of the National Rifle Association of India.

Sawant won a bronze medal in 50 metre rifle three positions at the 2009 ISSF World Cup in Munich. On 8 August 2010, she became the first Indian woman shooter to win a gold medal at the World Championships with a world-record equalling score in the 50m Rifle Prone event in Munich, Germany.

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