Sun. May 19th, 2024

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BENGALURU: The Covid-19 pandemic ended many sportspersons’ careers but for Bengaluru shooter Tejas Krishna Prasad, who was among the Tokyo Olympics probables, the disruption came as a blessing in disguise as he pursued his dreams to become a civil servant. On Tuesday, the air rifle marksman cleared the Civil Services Examination and was ranked 243.
“Being a sportsperson helped me to stay focused and crack the civil services on my second attempt.Based on last year’s cut-off I think I will get IAS — which is my first choice. Even during the interview questions revolved mostly about sports,” Tejas told TOI.
“I was asked about my shooting career, how we can improve sports in India. One of my hobbies was reading autobiographies of athletes, so the chairperson asked if I had read the book ‘Open’ — Andre Agassi’s autobiography. Then he asked me the three questions I would ask him (Agassi) if I met him on a train and also the answers if I were Agassi. That was an interesting question.”
“The interview went on for about 25 minutes but the members of the panel headed by Sheel Vardhan Singh were cordial and it was nothing like what you saw in the movie ’12th Fail’. I was not nervous getting into the interview. There were times when I didn’t know the answers but I said ‘I didn’t know’ and they just moved on.”
Asked when he turned his attention towards civil services, Tejas said: “When Covid started there were no competitions and that was when I thought I should give it a try. Thankfully, I was able to clear it in two attempts. Once the Indian team for Tokyo was selected I moved from shooting and began focusing on my preparations. Besides online coaching I also had help from Vinay Kumar, who was my mentor.”
Son of T Krishna Prasad, a retired businessman, and Shylaja, Tejas, who chose International Relations and Political Science for CSE, said but for the pandemic he wouldn’t have cracked the exam. “My mom used to motivate me to aim for civil services and the Covid-19 break came. If the competitions were still happening, I wouldn’t have taken a break,” he said.
Inspired by Suhas’ feats
An alumni of Sri Kumaran Public School and RV College, from where he completed his BE, Tejas began shooting inspired by his mother, an excise inspector, who was a hobby shooter. “I started in 2014. I was in the Junior India squad in 2016. By 2019, I was India No.4 and represented the country at both Beijing and Munich World Cups. I was part of the senior team from 2018 till 2020.” Tejas, who trained under coach Rakesh Manpat, said.
Asked whether he would continue shooting as a civil servant, Tejas said: “Of course. After a point, we don’t need too much time to prepare. Maybe 2-3 hours and that I will find. Suhas Yathiraj sir (a Bengalurean who serves in IAS) has won a Paralympic badminton medal. I spoke to him and he gave me a clear yes that I can do it.”



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