July 22, 2021 7:46:13 pm
Athlete Name: Pravin Jadhav
About 10 years down the line, the Sarade village boy from Maharashtra’s Satara district has progressed enough to be one of the medal prospects for India in archery at the Tokyo Games.
He was sent to Krida Prabodhini in Amravati before being picked by the Army Sports Institute in Pune from where he had a meteoric rise, winning his first ever International medal — a team bronze — at the 2016 Asia Cup Stage 1 in Bangkok.
At the World Championships 2019 in Den Bosch, the Netherlands he along with Tarundeep Rai and Atanu Das secured the men’s team Olympic qualification for the first time since London Olympics 2012.
The men’s team went on to win a World Championships silver after a long gap of 14 years as the juniormost archer shone bright as future Olympic prospect. He finally cemented his Tokyo berth in style, topping the selection trials for the Olympics with his score of 2727 and won six out of seven one-on-one matches to go past the much-acclaimed Rai and Das.
Pravin Jadhav’s journey has been full of hardships. He almost joined his father as a daily wage labourer before things changed for better for the Jadhav family.
Struggling to make ends meet, his father had told him that he has to drop out after class seven and join him at the construction site, where he himself worked. One fine day, Pravin’s sports teacher at his Zilla Parishad School in Sarade, Vikas Bhujbal, found some promise in him and asked him to compete in athletics to earn a better living.
He has not looked back since then and his family is also no longer grappling with poverty.
Archery came his way by accident at the Krida Prabodhini hostel in Ahmednagar when he was selected for the sport during a drill when he threw 10 out of 10 balls in a ring from a 10-metre distance. Physically weak at that time, Pravin experienced difficulty in handling the weight of the recurve bow, with the academy mulling to release him due to his sub-par performances. Having been given five shots to prove himself, Pravin had scored over 45 and retained his place in the academy.
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