CHENNAI: It’s not often that to solve a problem one does something which becomes his strength. That’s what happened with Danush Suresh. To help him overcome a breathing trouble, his parents put him into swimming. The 18-year-old has become one of the best in the country at the junior level, having won three silver medals at the recently concluded Khelo India Youth Games in Pune.
Danush’s parents got him enrolled at a swimming club when he was five years old. After overcoming the problem and having learned the basics, he has not looked back. His first medal came in 2009, at the CBSE national swimming competition, where he bagged the 200 m individual medley bronze in the U-12 category. He went on to break the national record in the same event at the sub-junior nationals the next year. It was just the beginning.
Four gold medals and another national record at the 2014 the junior nationals announced his arrival. With this, Danush caught the eye of the JSW top brass and eventually, earned a sponsorship. This helped him travel to Durban for training at the Seagull Swimming Academy under coach Graham Hill, who is an Olympian. But despite getting a chance to be in a place with world-class facilities, he returned after one year. “We wanted to see him in proper shape because his lungs are weaker compared to others. He had breathing problems in childhood. He did yoga and breathing exercises. Now he is totally cured,” said Danush’s mother Vijaya Suresh, a dentist.
While doing well in swimming, Danush has also stayed focused on education. “Everyone in our family feared that his studies might get affected when he travelled to Durban. But he came back to India with 23 medals and a 10th standard certificate (done in Durban),” added Vijaya.
Danush is currently pursuing BE in Computer Science and Engineering at Anna University. A time will come when he will have to choose between academics and swimming. His coach RV Veerabhadran feels he can have another shot at swimming. “He is talented, hardworking and aiming to represent India,” he said.
Studying and simultaneously winning medals in senior-level competitions is a different ball game. If Danush is able to pull it off, it will be a reward of his perseverance.