A 3-member elite swimming staff has been cleared to trip to Dubai for coaching. This is the primary nationwide camp the federal government has sanctioned out of doors the rustic, since swimming swimming pools are nonetheless no longer allowed to be used in India as consistent with the Ministry of Home Affairs pandemic protocols. The 3 swimmers are Virdhawal Khade (50m freestyle), Srihari Nataraj (100m backstroke) and Kushagra Rawat (400m freestyle) who’ve completed the ‘B qualification mark for the Tokyo Olympics. They will be accompanied by coach AC Jairaj and will train at Dubai’s Aqua Nation Swimming Academy.
“The camp has been approved for two months at a cost of around 35 lakh,” Sports Authority of India mentioned in a commentary on Saturday
“This decision was taken in lieu of the current prevailing situation as swimming pools in India are not yet accessible as a safety measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had halted the training of India’s swimmers since March 2020. The training in Dubai will allow athletes to practice and improve their timing to Olympic A Qualification mark,” the commentary added.
Nataraj, who has matched Olympics B qualification mark (55.47s) in 100m backstroke, welcomed the transfer. “I thank SAI and Swimming Federation of India for their support and approval. I am glad that this happened. I just hope the youngsters and other swimmers who were initially in the (probables) list also get a chance to get back to the pool,” he mentioned.
“Before the lockdown I was looking at a long term training plan at either Australia, US or Canada at any club. I checked my friend in Australia about the situation now. They have very strict rules in place. Nobody is currently allowed to switch clubs there, so they are not expecting anyone. Dubai is the option for me now since we have got the permission to train and our national coach is there,” mentioned Nataraj
Nataraj mentioned it’s going to take a little time to get again into form. “I have never been out of the pool for so long. I don’t know how it is going to affect me once I get into the pool. But I should get back to shape in a month and a half. We don’t know when the tournament will start but need to get three four months before we can compete,” he mentioned.
Six swimmers have completed the B qualification mark for the Tokyo Olympics. Sajan Prakash, Aryan Makhija and Advait Page were coaching out of the country. Prakash is coaching in Thailand whilst Makhija and Page are in the United States. knowledgeable Swimming Federation of India secretary common Monal Choksi.
“The other three swimmers were looking to get back to the pool. It’s an extremely proactive decision by the ministry and we appreciate that because the pools are still not open here,” mentioned Choksi.
He mentioned the federation had despatched a larger probables listing for the camp in Dubai. “We have been in talks with SAI and I am happy that they have agreed to send a small group to Dubai. We would have wished it had been a bigger group and included the other hopefuls also which we had proposed so that they can also get back to training. Nevertheless, it is a great start for these boys to get back to water. We will continue to work with SAI,” mentioned Choksi.
“The logistics are yet to be worked out. We will start their visa and ticketing process as early as possible. We will try and get the group together by August 25,” he added.
It will assist that India’s former nationwide trainer Pradeep Kumar is trainer on the Dubai academy. The staff will keep in a residential lodging nearer to the pool and may have a shipping of their very own. The swimmers may have to take COVID check and publish a unfavorable end result 96 hours ahead of they land in Dubai, as consistent with the UAE executive protocol.
“Pradeep is familiar with the swimmers. I have been in touch with the authorities. The distancing norms are strictly followed there. Competitive training is already on in Dubai,” mentioned Choksi.
“Top swimming nations like the US and Australia have already opened their training centres,” mentioned famend trainer Nihar Ameen, who’s trainer on the swimming academy at Prakash Padukone Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.
“It is a great initiative by the sports ministry but we also need to presume training for the rest of our swimmers in India as soon as possible. Swimmers are safely training worldwide. We have 10,000 swimmers here who are getting here to get into the pool to train,” he added.