Mumbai: Tejaswini Sawant finishing on top of the podium recently was seen by many as comeback of sorts but the ace shooter, who was away for a brief while, looks at the Commonwealth Games success in Gold Coast as continuation of her journey.
The Kolhapur-born Tejaswini shattered the Games record in the women's 50m rifle 3 position event on her way to the gold medal and also bagged a silver in the women's 50m rifle prone event at the CWG.
"Actually, yes for others, who don't know about me, it is a comeback for them. But I feel that my journey continued. I had taken a two-month break. I had taken a break due to family issues during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and other international tournaments and because of that gap, performance was not (good) so I could not get selected for those Games. So, that year (2014) went in slack," Tejaswini told PTI.
"From 2015, I am at number one position in the Indian team, my performance was good. It is not that I have taken a long break and made a comeback. My journey continued. In that journey, this (performance) came in the middle," she explained.
A gold medallist at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 10m air rifle singles and pairs with Avneet Kaur Sidhu, Tejaswini is also the first Indian to clinch a World Championship gold, in 2010.
When Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games eight years ago, the shooter won silver in 50 rifle prone singles and bronze in 50m rifle prone pairs along with Meena Kumari.
In the same Games, she also bagged silver in 50m rifle 3 positions event along with Lajjakumari Goswami.
According to Tejaswini, CWG and the upcoming Asian Games are important steps ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, for which she hopes to qualify.
"My shooting journey is on and it will continue till I have interest. And a big part of it is the 2020 Olympics. And for that big competition, these are small steps and Asian Games is one of that. Commonwealth Games was one such (step) and it went (well).
"The way me and my coach Kuheli Ganguly had planned, it went well. One step went well and (Asian Games) will be the second step," she added.
Her focus would be to improve her performance and grow as a shooter, Tejaswani said.
About the Gold Coast Games, she said, "The experience was good, but the range was windy, and it was difficult to deal with it, so I did not perform up to the mark and bagged silver.
"I was happy, but still had that feeling that did not get the desired colour of the medal and so took more efforts for that (to clinch gold)."
She also said that her family stayed with her and provided support all along.
"In this journey, my family and coach Ganguly pushed me and supported me. Even after marriage, my husband supported me," she quipped.
Tejaswini dedicated her medals to the Indian army's martyred personnel from Aurangabad, saying her eyes were full of tears during the medal presentation ceremony after clinching the gold in CWG.
Updated Date: Apr 20, 2018 16:03 PM