Rahi Sarnobat and Tejaswini Sawant among five athletes to get Tokyo Olympic aid from Maharashtra Government

Steeplechaser Avinash Sable and archer Pravin Jadhav were also selected for the grant

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a grant of ₹50 lakh to five athletes from the state to help them prepare in the best possible way for the Tokyo Olympics that got postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ace shooters Rahi Sarnobat and Tejaswini Sawant, steeplechaser Avinash Sable, archer Pravin Jadhav and para-athlete Swaroop Unhalkar were the five athletes chosen for the grant.

The 30-year-old Sarnobat, who won the 2018 Asian Games gold in the 25m pistol event, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by winning gold at the ISSF World Cup in Munich in 2019.

Veteran shooter Tejaswini Sawant sealed her spot at Tokyo 2020 with her performance in the women’s 3 position Air Rifle category at the 14th Asian Championships at Doha in 2019.

Sable ensured his Olympic berth during the final of the Athletics World Championship in Doha in October 2019. He recorded a time of 8:21.37 which saw him finish 13th in the race but was good enough to reach the Olympic cut-off – which had been set at 8:22.00.

Avinash Sable broke the national record in the 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Photo: ADHM

Meanwhile, Jadhav earned his ticket to Tokyo At the 2019 World Archery Championships. The Indian contingent of Jadhav, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai beat sixth-seeded Canada to qualify for the knockout stage and secure an Olympic start. They had a dream run at the tournament until they were beaten by China in the finals.

"The chosen players have won medals at national and international competitions. They should only increase their graph and produce such performance which will make the state proud," the CM said.

International para-shooter Swaroop Unalkar, who is preparing for the Paralympics, was also given a similar aid at the function. He had ensured qualification for the Paralympics from the 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships, in Sydney, Australia.