Commonwealth gold medalist Tejaswini Sawant eyeing 2020 Olympics

While she is presently training at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, Tejaswini is happy with the way the preparations are going on.

Shooter Tejaswini Sawant receives the 'Best Woman Sportsperson of the Year' award from Adille Sumariwalla and M.M. Somaya at the SJAM Awards on Thursday.

It may sound cliched, but ‘age is just a number’ for Tejaswini Sawant. The 38-year-old shooter, who clinched gold at the Commonwealth Games this year, is now focusing on the 2020 Olympics and for that she is leaving no stone unturned.

While she is presently training at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, Tejaswini is happy with the way the preparations are going on. “This year’s major events are over. Next year, the major Olympic quota events will begin. I am preparing hard for that,” Tejaswini told Sportstar on Thursday, a few minutes after being conferred the 'Sportswoman of the Year' award at the Annual Awards organized by the Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM).

Along with Tejaswini, Heena Sidhu was also conferred with an award in the same category, but she is presently in New Delhi and as a result, missed the event.

Tejaswini, who has been a seasoned campaigner, makes it clear that she would continue as long as she continues to feel the urge. “The journey will continue until I feel tired and feel it’s not going anywhere. I am learning something or the other every day, so I think I still have things to learn. I am looking forward to learning,” Tejaswini said.

“Winning a medal at the Olympics is still the dream. Every athlete dreams of winning a gold medal, and even I want to see the tri-colour waving at the medal podium at the Olympics. That’s my dream,” she added.

Someone who loves being low-key, Tejaswini admits that a lot of hard work goes through behind success stories. “We only look at the medals but before every event, there is lot of hard work and efforts that are involved. We only see the medals, but it takes years to prepare. My coach has come up with plans and that’s going well,” she said.

While Tejaswini gears up for the challenges, another shooter from Kolhapur—Rahi Sarnobat—is making waves in the circuit and Tejaswini is happy to see Rahi come so far. “Rahi is a very good shooter and very consistent. She has also spent 10 years in the circuit. We have been room-mates in various tournaments, and she is like a younger sister,” she said.

“We discuss various things depending on the situation. I have no advise for her. She is a very good shooter and should keep it that way,” she said.

While she plans to train in Pune for the moment, Tejaswini admits that if a tournament happens in cold conditions, it is better to train abroad to get accustomed to the conditions. But otherwise, she finds herself comfortable at the Balewadi Sports Complex—a venue which has been with her through thick and thin.

And Tejaswini, too, wants to keep it that way!