Anjali Bhagwat – Professional Rifle Shooter of India & first Indian to win a gold medal at an ISSF World Cup

Anjali Bhagwat
Anjali Bhagwat: Image source: Facebook

Anjali Bhagwat is a professional shooter of India. In 2002, she became the world number one in 10m Air Riffle. In 2003, she won her first World Cup Final in Milan with the score of 399/400.

Anjali Bhagwat is the only Indian rifle shooter to win the (International Shooting Sport Federation) ISSF Champions Trophy in Air Rifle Men & Women mixed event at Munich.

She represented India in three consecutive Olympics, and was a finalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics; again that was the first chance for any Indian women shooter.

In the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Shooting Championships she has won 12-gold and 4-silver medals.

In 10m Air Rifle and Sports Rifle 3P, she is a Commonwealth record holder. Bhagwat created history by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to get gold and a silver medal in the Sports 3P and Air Rifle events respectively in the 2003 Afro-Asian Games.

Until now she has won 31-gold, 23-silver & 7-bronze medals. In International competitions, Anjali Bhagwat has set 13 new records.

She has won 55-gold, 35-silver & 16 bronze medals with 8-new records in national competitions in India.

Who is Anjali Bhagwat

Anjali Ramakant Vedpathak was born in in Marathi Brahmin family on 5 December 1969 in Mumbai, Maharastra. The legendary athlete Carl Lewis inspired her. She started her shooting during her stint as a cadet in the NCC.

She was a student of Judo Karate and advanced mountaineering. She joined Kirti College in Mumbai due to her attraction towards NCC.

She got in to Maharashtra Riffle Association (MRA) as a part of her curriculum.

At the age of 21, she started shooting & took part in National Championship of 1988 within 7-dqays of holding Gun. She won a silver medal for Maharashtra.

Career as Professional Rifle Shooter

She credited her first coach Sanjay Chakravarthy for her strong fundamental basics.

She won 55-gold, 35-silver & 16-bronze medals in domestic Competition, this record is unbeaten.

In 1995, she participated in her first international event in the SAF games. In 1999, she won gold in the Commonwealth Championship in Auckland.

There she won 3-gold & a silver medal in in Air Rifle, 3P individual and the team event. For India, she is the only woman to win the world cup.

She started training under Laszlo Szucsak, the then coach for the Indian Shooting Team in December 1999.

She personally approached Laszlo after watching his work with the Malaysian Shooting squad.

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In the 2000, Sydney Olympics she earned a wild card entry. She went on to become one of the finalists.

Anjali Bhagwat managed to train without coach during 2001 to 2004, & still became world number one in 2002. Laszlo re-joined the national shooting squad as the team Coach during 2006, and she trained with him until 2008. 

Stanislav Lapidus was appointed the coach by the Indian National Army for the national squad in 2008.

In 2002, Bhagwat ranked her victory as the Champions of Champions as the best movement of her career. Until now, she is the only Indian to won this title.

Anjali Bhagwat uses a German-made riffle Feinwerkbau, for her Air Riffle events. She prefers a Feinwerkbau for 10m & for 50m, she uses .22 Walther.

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In 1993, Bollywood actor and a fellow shooter, Nana Patekar, gifted her first kit. The Hinduja Foundation officially sponsored her in 2000, and later by the Mittal Champions Trust in 2008. In 2004, Hyundai Corporation also supported her training.