Anjali Bhagwat

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This article is about an Indian sportswoman. See Anjali (disambiguation) for disambiguation.
Anjali Mandar Bhagwat
Anjalibhagwat.JPG
Personal information
Birth name Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat
Nickname(s) "Arjuna of India"
Nationality Indian
Born (1969-12-05)5 December 1969
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Residence Pune, Maharashtra
Sport
Sport Rifle shooting
Turned pro 1988

Anjali Mandar Bhagwat (Marathi: अंजली मंदार भागवत, Aṅjali Mandar Bhagwat: born December 5, 1969) is a professional Indian shooter. The former world number one is considered to be one of the greatest Indian women athletes of all time. She became the World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002. Anjali also won her first World Cup Final in Milan, in 2003, with a score of 399/400.

Her greatest sports moment has been winning coveted ISSF Champion of Champions award. She is the only Indian to have won the ISSF Champions’ Trophy in Air Rifle Men & Women mixed event at Munich in 2002. She has represented India in three consecutive Olympics, and was a finalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, again a first for any Indian women shooter. She has won 12 gold and 4 silver medals in the Commonwealth Games. She is a Common Wealth record holder in 10m Air Rifle and Sports Rifle 3P. In the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, Anjali Bhagwat created history by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to grab gold and a silver medal in the Sports 3P and Air Rifle events respectively. Her success in the arena of shooting has earned her the nickname "Arjuna of India".

Till date she has won 31 Gold, 23 Silver and 7 Bronze medals. She has set 13 new records in International competitions and has won 55 Gold, 35 Silver and 16 Bronze medals, with 8 new records in national competitions in India.

Awards[edit]

Rajiv Gandhi Khel-Ratna (2003)
Arjuna Award (2000)

  • 1992:Shree Shiv Chattrapati Award
  • 1993:Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar
  • 1993:Vasantrav Naik Pratishthan Puraskar
  • 2002:Indo-American Society [1] Young Achiever award
  • 2003:Times Group Maharashtra Shaan
  • 2003:Hero Indian Sports Award -Best sportswoman
  • 2003:HISA Sports Woman of the year
  • 2003:HISA Shooter of the year
  • 2004:HISA Shooter of the year
  • 2005:GR8 women achievers award
  • 2005:Teacher's achievement award
  • 2006:F I E Foundation National award

Early life[edit]

Anjali was born as Anjali Vedapathak on 5 December 1969 in a Marathi Daivadnya family in Mumbai. Inspired by the legendary athlete Carl Lewis, Anjali developed interest in sports. Her first brush with shooting occurred during her stint as a cadet in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). A student of Judo Karate and advanced mountaineering, Anjali was very much attracted towards NCC. She joined Kirti College in Mumbai mainly due to its close affinity with the NCC. As a part of her curriculum she wended her way into MRA (Maharashtra Rifle Association). She started shooting at the age of 21 and within 7 days of holding a gun, she took part in the National Championship of 1988, winning a Silver Medal for Maharashtra in the process.

Initial stages[edit]

Sanjay Chakravarthy was her first coach. She credits him for her strong fundamentals and basics; instilled over a period of over 5 years. In the December of 1999, she started training under Laszlo Szucsak, the then coach for the Indian Shooting Team. Interestingly, Bhagwat had personally approached Laszlo after watching his work with the Malaysian Shooting squad. The Hungarian remained with the team for a year during which Anjali earned a wild card entry in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where she went on to become one of the finalists. From 2001 to 2004, Anjali trained without a coach, and still managed to become Word Number One in 2002.

During the year 2006, Laszlo re-joined the national shooting squad as the team Coach, and Bhagwat trained with him till 2008. In the year 2008, Stanislav Lapidus was appointed the coach by the Indian National Army for the national squad.

Career[edit]

She turned pro when she first participated in the National Championships in 1988. She won Silver for her state and continues to play for the Maharashtra team. Her tally of 55 Gold, 35 Silver and 16 Bronze medals in domestic Competitions is unbeaten.

She participated in her first international event in 1995, in the SAF games. Her first international Gold winning performance was in the Commonwealth Championship in Auckland in 1999, where she won 3 Gold medals and a Silver medal in Air Rifle, 3P individual and the team event. She is the only woman to have won the World Cup for India. She considers her rival Galkina Lioubov (Russia) as an idol competitor.

Competitions[edit]

Medal Tally

Championship Location Event Score/Rank Medal
Europe Circuit 2007 Hungary Air Rifle ( ind ) 396 Bronze
World Cup 2006 Brazil Sports 3P ( ind ) 582 / IV Quota Place
Commonwealth Games 2006 Melbourne Sports 3P (Team) 373 Silver
Commonwealth Games 2005 Melbourne Air Rifle ( ind ) 398
Commonwealth Games 2005 Melbourne Team 395 Silver
Commonwealth Games 2005 Melbourne Sports 3P Team 573 Gold
Olympics 2004 Athens Sports 3P ( ind ) 575 / XIII
World Cup 2004 Sydney Sports 3P ( ind ) 583 Bronze
Afro Asian Games 2003 India Air Rifle ( ind ) 396 Silver
Afro Asian Games 2003 India Sports 3P 577 Gold
World Cup Finals 2003 Milan Air Rifle 399 Gold*
World Cup Finals 2003 Atlanta Air Rifle 399 Gold*
Asian Games 2002 Korea Air Rifle (Team) 396 Silver
World Cup Finals 2002 Munich Air Rifle ( ind ) 399 Silver*
Commonwealth Games 2002 England Air Rifle ( ind ) 398 Gold (New Record)
Commonwealth Games 2002 England Air Rifle ( Team ) 398 Gold (New Record)
Commonwealth Games 2002 England Sports 3P ( ind ) 578 Gold (New Record)
Commonwealth Games 2002 England Sports 3P 574 Gold (New Record)
World Cup 2002 Atlanta Air Rifle ( ind ) 399 Silver (Quota Place )
World Cup 2002 Sydney Air Rifle ( ind ) 397 Silver*
Europe Circuit 2002 Munich Air Rifle (1st Day) 398 Gold
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Air Rifle (2nd Day) 398 Silver
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Air Rifle (1st Day) 398 Silver
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Team 396 Silver
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Team 397 Gold
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Air Rifle (2nd Day) 399 Bronze
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Team Silver
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Air Rifle (3rd Day) Gold (Equaled World Record)
Europe Circuit 2002 Denmark Team Silver
Commonwealth Championship 2001 England Air Rifle ( ind ) 396 Gold (Record)
Commonwealth Championship 2001 England Team 582 Gold
Commonwealth Championship 2001 England Sports 3P ( ind ) Gold
Commonwealth Championship 2001 England Team (New Record)
Commonwealth Championship 2001 England Silver
Olympics 2000 Sydney Air Rifle ( ind ) 394 / VII Finalist
Grand Prix 2000 Czech Air Rifle ( ind ) 396 Silver
Asian Championships 2000 Malaysia Sport Prone ( ind ) 588 Silver
Asian Championships 2000 Malaysia Team Gold
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Air Rifle ( ind ) 398 Gold
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Team 571 (New Record)
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Sports 3P ( ind ) Gold
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Team (New Record)
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Gold
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland (New Record)
Commonwealth Championship 1999 Auckland Silver
Ociana Championship 1999 Sydney Air Rifle 395 Gold
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Air Rifle ( ind ) 396 Gold (New Record)
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Team 568 Gold (New Record)
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Sports 3P ( ind ) 574 Gold (New Record)
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Team Gold (New Record)
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Sport Prone ( ind ) Silver
SAF Games 1999 Nepal Team Bronze
SAF Championship 1997 New Delhi Air Rifle ( ind ) Gold
SAF Championship 1997 New Delhi Team Gold
SAF Championship 1997 New Delhi Sport Prone (Team) Silver
SAF Championship 1997 New Delhi Gold
SAF Games 1995 Madras Air Rifle (Team) Bronze
SAF Games 1995 Madras Sports 3P ( ind ) Silver
SAF Games 1995 Madras Team Gold

Injuries[edit]

A religious follower Yoga, Anjali has never taken a break from professional shooting due to any injury.

Special situations[edit]

Many stalwarts of the sport of shooting often rate World Championships higher than the Olympics. Anjali has ranked her victory as the Champions of Champions in 2002 as the best moment in her career. She still remains the only Indian to have ever won the title.

Equipment[edit]

Anjali uses a Feinwerkbau, a German Make Rifle for her Air Rifle events. For 10m she prefers a Feinwerkbau while for 50m she uses a .22 Walther.

Sponsors[edit]

Bhagwat’s first ever kit was gifted to her by famous Bollywood actor and a fellow shooter, Nana Patekar in 1993. She was officially sponsored by the Hinduja Foundation in 2000, and later by the Mittal Champions Trust in 2008. Hyundai Corporation also supported her training prior to 2004.

Personal life[edit]

Anjali Bhagwat has two siblings; a younger brother and an elder sister. She is a tennis and cricket enthusiast. She is a self-confessed foodie and her favourite foods include fish, tandoori chicken and red wine. Austria is her favourite destination and she has visited the country on many occasions. Yoga and meditation form a large part of her daily routine. Music tends to run in the family, her mother sang for AIR (All India Radio) while her sister is a singer too. An avid reader, she enjoys Fiction.

In December 2000, Anjali married Mumbai based businessman, Mandar Bhagwat. The couple has a son named Aradhya born in 2010. In 2006, she shifted her base from Mumbai to Pune due city’s better sporting facilities. Anjali Bhagwat is currently coaching 6 shooters in Pune, for which she also utilizes her own range. The 10m range is a part of her house and she usually practices there.

In popular culture[edit]

With her charming personality and her gorgeous smile, Anjali has been a true representation of Beauty with Talent and has received many acting offers. She has promoted sports through associations with Sahara and Reliance. Anjali was vastly appreciated for her participation in India’s bid for hosting Commonwealth Games 2010 alongside sporting legends like Sunil Gavaskar. Anjali’s arguments were termed as the ones that made the essential emotional connect in India’s winning the bid.

Anjali Bhagwat was a part of the Bournvita Quiz Contest as a special guest. She was also a part of the expert panel on CNN-IBN during the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010. She featured in the Hero Hondo Sports Awards, 2007 where she sang and danced impromptu with former Indian cricketers Vinod Kambli and Ajay Jadeja. She has also been the subject of inspiration for many including a noted writer and columnist, Shobha De, who dedicated her column to Anjali post their interaction at an award ceremony.
She has been on the govt selection panel for some of the top notch sports award, both on state & national level such as Shiv Chatrapati Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharaya Award. Apart from this she has done a guest appearance in Marathi movie “Bokya Satbande”. She has walked ramp twice for famous fashion designer, Vikram Phadnis. She has been teaching Blind Student. She regularly writes for different newspaper and magazines

References[edit]