Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat, who competes in the 25 meters pistol shooting event is a female athlete from India. At the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India she won her first gold medal. In shooting, in an Asian Games for India, she is the first woman to win a gold medal – in the women’s 25 meter pistol event she won the gold at the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. In 2010 Commonwealth Games, she had won two gold medals in New Delhi, she had won two gold medals, the first of the two golds in coming in the 25m pistol pair event with Anisa Sayyed. At the 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games, which were held in India she had previously won gold in the 25 m pistol event.
Rahi Sarnobat’s Personal Life:
Rahi comes from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Fellow Maharashtrian and 50m rifle pro World Champion Tejaswini Sawant is her inspiration. She got introduced to firearms as part of NCC training during her school days. From an early age she demonstrated natural skills in using firearms. In her home town of Kolhapur, Sarnobat had to navigate through inadequate infrastructure and facilities in her home town of Kolhapur in the early days of playing the sport. As Mumbai had the better facilities for the sport she decided to train in Mumbai.
Rahi Sarnobat’s Achievement:
When she won the 25m pistol event in the ISSF World Cup in Changwon Sarnobat became India’s first pistol shooter to win a gold medal in the World Cup. In the women’s 25-metre pistol, in the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, she won gold. In the 25-metre pistol team event, at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, in the same year, she won the bronze medal, where she made a team with Anisa Sayyed and Heena Sidhu. In 2015, for Sarnobat it came as a setback for Sarnobat as an injury caused by an accident because it affected her elbow that took almost two years to fully heal. She made a comeback to the Indian national team. She started working with German coach Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, who helped Sarnobat gain physical fitness and mental strength.Ironically at the 2012 Olympics, Dorjsuren was one of Sarnobat’s competitors.
In 2011 World Cup event at Fort Benning, she won bronze medal which led to her selection for the London Olympics in 2012, thereby she became the first female Indian shooter to qualify in the Olympics for the 25 meters sports pistol event.
Rahi was recommended in May 2015, for the country’s prestigious Arjuna Award by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
She became the first Indian woman to become an individual Asian games gold medallist on 22 August 2018, in shooting by winning the 25 meter pistol event with a Games record score of 34. In the shoot off she defeated against her Thai opponent to bag the gold.
World Cup event in 2019, Rahi won the gold medal at the Munich and was selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.