Abasaheb Gaikwad won three gold medals at the Australian Master Games in discus throw, hammer throw and shot put events. Here’s how he reached this stage of success.
35-year-old Abasaheb Gaikwad, a bus conductor from Shetjale village in Sangli, Maharashtra, has made India proud by winning three gold medals at the Australian Master Games, which were held in Adelaide.
Abasaheb broke his own records from the past, and bagged three gold medals in different games – discus throw, hammer throw and shot put.
He had participated in the 30-35 age group category, and won by beating players from at least seven countries.
But success for Abasaheb did not come in one day. He prepared for the the games while working full time, and training himself without any coach. He has been able to reach this stage because of a lot of hard work, dedication, and the help of many people associated with him.
As the cost of the tour is very high, his employers at Maharashtra State Regional Transport Corporation (MSRTC), friends, family members and well-wishers, pitched in and helped him in gathering funds. Back home, when he was preparing for the games, his senior officials from MSRTC shifted him to internal duty and used to send him to trips only when they were close to the depot, so he could make time for practice. Because of the lack of sports facilities in Sangli, his friends also helped him during practice sessions.
“Before embarking on the trip Down Under, I had to go through a qualifying round in Mumbai, where I performed outstandingly and got chosen for the tour…My friends and colleagues helped me a lot, both in terms of gathering funds and preparing for the tournament. The cost of the tour is huge. Everyone collected a sum of Rs 2.5 lakh” he told The Pune Mirror.
Australian Masters Games is a biennial, multi-sport event. It covers more than 50 sports, and sportsmen aged over 30 years are allowed to participate from across the world. The 15th Australian Masters Games took place from October 3-10, 2015.
After participating in many district, state and national level championships, this self-taught athlete had also won two gold medals in javelin and discus throw at the Torino International Masters Games, held in Turin, Italy, in 2013.