Criticism helps shooter Tehani improve concentration | Sunday Observer

Criticism helps shooter Tehani improve concentration

11 July, 2021

Tehani Egodawela is Sri Lanka’s shooting representative at the Tokyo Olympics. She achieved this milestone a few weeks ago after a hard and competitive journey.

It is a very rare opportunity as Sri Lanka does not have many facilities for rifle shooting unlike some other countries.

She is a quiet and calm character. The Youth Observer caught up with her to discuss her achievements and participation in the Olympics.

Q: Tehani, you have been selected to represent the country in Rifle Shooting at the Tokyo Olympics to be held this month. That is a remarkable achievement. What have you to say?

A: Yes, I am very happy and proud about my selection to represent the country at the Olympics. It has been a long and hard journey for me.

Q: How did you achieve this target? Could you explain?

A: My only target was to represent the country at the Olympics one day. I was determined to achieve it and I improved my shooting skills little by little.

Q: It is not easy to achieve targets one sets for oneself. How did you succeed?

A: If we want to achieve anything we must have a plan. We have to build up a concept in our mind to achieve it. Normally, we have to think of a ten-year plan and work hard to achieve it. If you have such a plan then it will be possible to achieve your dreams. I too had such a plan.

Q: You are a Naval Officer?

A: Yes, I am attached to the Sri Lanka Navy and I am proud of it. My workplace helps me to continue my sports activities.

Without the Sri Lanka Navy I would not have had a chance to be involved in rifle shooting. Shooting is a very expensive sport.

Q: So you are the first female from the Navy to represent the country at the Olympics?

A: Yes. As a female attached to the Sri Lanka Navy I am very proud about it.

Q: There is much work in the Navy. How did you find the time to attend practices?

A: Yes. There is much work. However, the Commander and high ranking officers released me from my other duties to do sports activities on a full-time basis.

Very rarely did I have to do other work. I owe a large part of my success to the Navy.

Q:  Isn’t shooting a very competitive game which demands concentration?

A: You are absolutely correct. If you lose your concentration, you cannot achieve your goal.

As a shooter I have faced numerous problems.

However, I never lost my morale. I always tried to strengthen my mind and find success.

Q: What are the hard times you experienced in this sport?

A: Some people told me that I was too fat and not suitable for shooting events. They always told me that my opponents will break my morale very easily. But I never let those comments break my focus on the sport. Actually it helped me become stronger.

Q: What do you think about your fitness level?

A: I am fully fit. Without fitness one cannot stay in the Navy. However, shooting is a mind game. If you have good fitness, but cannot concentrate, then you cannot perform well.

Q:  How is your level of concentration at present?

A: I have weaknesses and have been trying to overcome them. Criticism has helped to build my morale.

Q: What about your chances in the Olympics?

A: I hope to display my best skills at the Olympics. I have waited to fulfill this dream and I hope to succeed. The world standard in rifle shooting is very high and other shooters are technologically ahead of us. But I am determined to succeed.

Q:  Who are the people who helped you come this far in your journey?

A: Religion helps me to overcome problems. My family and coaches have helped me to reach this level in rifle shooting. J. Dasanayaka was my first coach and he directed me to take up rifle shooting. Before that I was a pistol shooter.

But he told me that there were many avenues for success in rifle shooting. I am glad I took his advice. I thank him for this valuable advice.

U.M. Premalal Sir is my present coach. I think without him I cannot have won medals in any competition. achieve any medal in any competition. I must also mention Jindasa sir without whom I would not be here. He helped me to take up this sport in 2010.that without him I am not here. He was helping me to join these sports in 2010 and also helped in keeping up my morale.

Q:  You have a family with twin boys. How do you find time to attend practices?

A: I have a nice family. My husband B. Nilusha Dilruk Perera is a very rare person and he helps me to continue my sports career. For example, he never allows me to cook when a competition draws near. He asks me to concentrate on the competition. He is a heartwarming and knowledgeable partner.

My father, mother and close family members also help to continue my career. My mother has helped me financially on my foreign tours.