Anjali Bhagwat is a professional Indian shooter. She is considered to be one of the greatest Indian Women athletes of all time. Anjali has also won the World Cup in shooting in 2002. She is known as ‘Arjuna of India’ for her success in the field of shooting.
Early Life & Background
Anjali Bhagwat was born as Anjali Vedapathak on 5th December 1969 in a Marathi Daivadnya family in Mumbai. She has two siblings- a younger brother and an elder sister. During school & college, she learned Judo Karate and did mountaineering. She then took admission in Mumbai’s Kirti College mainly due to her interest for NCC. Later, Anjali took the course of MRA (Maharashtra Rifle Association). Within a short period of time, Anjali learned shooting and took the part in National Championship in 1988, winning a Silver Medal for Maharashtra.
First Match/ First Major Break
Anjali participated in National Championship in 1988 and won a Silver Medal in shooting.
Journey in the Sports Industry
Anjali first learnt shooting from MRA (Maharashtra Rifle Association), after which she participated in the National Championship and won the Silver Medal in 1988. Anjali first got personal training from the coach Sanjay Chakravarthy for over 5years. Anjali used to play for the state of Maharashtra and had an unbeatable record of winning 55 gold, 35 silver and 16 bronze medals in the domestic competitions. In 1993, Anjali got her first kit as a gift from Bollywood actor Nana Patekar.
In 1995, Anjali participated in the international event for the first time. The name of the event was SAF games. Later in 1999, she won her first international Gold medal in the Commonwealth Championship in Auckland in 1999. She won three Gold Medals and a Silver Medal in Air Rifle, 3P individual at the team event.
Later, she approached the shooter Laszlo Szucsak, after watching his work with the Malaysian Shooting squad. From 1999 onwards, Anjali started training under Laszlo for over a year. Anjali earned the wild card entry in 2000 Sydney Olympics and became one of the finalists. She had represented India in three consecutive Olympics and was the first Indian women shooter to get selected for the Olympics. Anjali was officially sponsored by the Hinduja Foundation in this year.
Between 2001 and 2004, Anjali managed her training on her own, without any coach. With all her hard work, she managed to become the World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002. She won the Wolrd Cup in Milan year 2002 with a score of 399/400. Anjali is the only women to win the World Cup for India. She is the only Indian to have won the ISSF Champions’ Trophy in Air Rifle Men & Women mixed event at Munich in 2002. . In 2003, Anjali created history in ‘Afro-Asian Games’, by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to grab gold and a silver medal in the events 3P and Air Rifle. During these years, Hyundai Corporation was her official sponsor for her training.
During 2006, her ex-coach Laszlo re-joined the national shooting squad as the team coach and he trained Anjali till 2008. In 2008, Stanislav Lapidus was appointed as the new coach of the national squad by the Indian National Army. She was sponsored by the Mittal Champions Trust during these years.
Till date, Anjali has won 31 Gold, 23 Silver and 7 Bronze medals and has set 13 new records in the International competitions and has won 55 Gold, 35 Silver and 16 Bronze medals, along with 8 new records in the national competitions in India. She has also 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. Anjali has never taken a break from professional shooting due to any injury.
Anjali Bhagwat is currently coaching 6 shooters in Pune, for which she also utilizes her own range.
Apart from Sports (In Entertainment Field)
Anjali had received many acting offers, but she has not acted in any movie, except for playing a cameo in the Marathi movie ‘Bokya Satbande’. She has participated in the ‘Bournvita Quiz Contest’ as a special guest. She has also walked the ramp twice for the famous fashion designer Vikram Phadnis.
Anjali has promoted sports through associations with Sahara and Reliance. She was a part of the expert panel on CNN-IBN during the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010. She has hosted in 2010, along with former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. Anjali has been on the government selection panel for some of the top notch sports award, at both state & national level awards such as, Shiv Chatrapati Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharaya Award.
In 2007, Anjali featured in the Hero Hondo Sports Awards, where she sang and danced spontaneously with former Indian cricketers Vinod Kambli and Ajay Jadeja. Writer Shobha De has dedicated a column to Anjali. Anjali also regularly writes articles for different newspapers and magazines.
In December 2000, Anjali got married to the businessman Mandar Bhagwat. In 2010, Anjali gave birth to a son, who is named Aradhya.
Common Wealth Game Medal List:
|Shree Shiv Chatrapatti AwardMaharashtra Gaurav Purskar
Vasantrao Naik Pratishthan Purskar
Indi-American Society-Young Achiver Award
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
HISA Sports Women of the Year
HISA Shooter of the Year
Times Group Maharashtra Shaan
HISA Shooter of the Year
Great Women Achiver Award
Teachers Achivement Award
FIE Foundation National Award
Network 18, Indian Sports Legend Award