New Delhi, August 2
Their resumption of coaching nonetheless on maintain attributable to authorities pointers, elite Indian swimmers say the continued restrictions on use of swimming pools won’t solely have an effect on their efficiency within the subsequent few years however can be taking a toll on their psychological well being.
Swimmers within the nation haven’t entered the swimming pools since March 25, when the primary coronavirus-forced lockdown was introduced. The newest Ministry of Home Affairs’ pointers on the third section of easing lockdown restrictions nonetheless prohibited the usage of swimming swimming pools until August 31.
Srihari Nataraj, who achieved the ‘B’ qualification mark final 12 months within the 100m backstroke occasion with a nationwide file 54.69sec, mentioned this pressured break has pushed again the careers of swimmers by nearly a 12 months, the consequences of which shall be felt within the Tokyo Olympics and the following Asian Games.
“Had we been training, all of us would have made substantial progress. Now it’s going to take us at least 3-4 months to make the same amount of progress, setting us back by almost an entire year,” Nataraj advised PTI.
The 19-year-old must convey his timing all the way down to 53.85secs to make sure of a Tokyo Olympics spot.
“The things I would have achieved in March, I will achieve in December if I get back to training now. We are wasting a lot of time in our career. It will affect our performance in Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Asian Games,” Nataraj added.
Kushagra Rawat, who has achieved the ‘B’ qualification mark within the three occasions of 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, mentioned the shortage of coaching alternatives was additionally affecting the Indian swimmers mentally.
“Swimming pools have opened all over the world, so it keeps playing on our mind that they (who have started training) have improved their timings while we haven’t even been in a pool for four months,” Rawat mentioned.
“It is such a discipline that even if you miss out for a day or two, that impacts your performance. When I took a three month break for my 12th board exams it took me three months to get back to the earlier timings.”
The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) has been asking for permission for the Olympic hopefuls to renew coaching since May, however to no avail.
Dronacharya award-winning coach Nihar Ameen additionally expressed disappointment on the authorities’s determination to maintain the swimming swimming pools shut for the elite swimmers.
“We keep getting promises that in the next unlock the pools will be opened. Swimming is one of the safest sports and if all the other sports including contact sports and gyms are open then why not swimming?” Ameen requested.
Nataraj, Virdhawal Khade, Sajan Prakash, Rawat, Aryan Makhija and Advait Page are the six swimmers who’ve achieved the ‘B’ qualification mark of their respective occasions for the Olympics and are aiming for the ‘A’ customary.
Out of them, Prakash and Makhija have been fortunate sufficient to renew coaching. While Prakash, who spent your complete lockdown at an academy in Phuket, began coaching when the swimming pools opened in Thailand, Makhija flew to Alabama, USA, the place he’s enrolled at Auburn University, in mid July.
However, Nataraj, Rawat and Khade do not need any plans to go outdoors for coaching.
“The only option for me is what the federation is planning. Others going abroad are already enrolled in universities. I don’t have that option,” Nataraj mentioned.
“I’m relying on federation as I can’t afford to train abroad. Apart from the cost there are also logistical issues,” Rawat mentioned.
Khade additionally mentioned he won’t journey overseas to coach in private capability.
Earlier this week, the SFI mentioned it was trying to organise a coaching camp for its Olympic hopefuls outdoors the nation. PTI