BENGALURU: Swimmers in the country can finally heave a sigh of relief. Competitions are set to
begin by next month. The Swimming Federation of India is conducting last year's postponed senior nationals in Rajkot from March 24 to 27. Not just high qualifying standard but strict swimming restrictions that kept swimmers away from the pools in several states is expected to affect the turnout.
The federation, however, is not very perturbed as its objective is to give a feel of competition to the senior swimmers as early as possible. "Senior swimmers have already started swimming in various states," said SFI secretary Monal Chokshi. "We want to start and give our senior swimmers a platform to compete. They need to start somewhere. They have not competed for a long time and this will give them some kind of a feel of competitions. Almost everywhere training has started."
When pointed out that some of the states could not start training because of closure of pools, Choksi said, the federation would be considerate towards those state units that cannot send their swimmers. "The 2021 senior and junior nationals will be held in June and definitely before the Olympic qualifying cycle ends," the secretary said. "By that time all our swimmers will be back in training."
The ongoing senior national camp at Padukone-Dravid Center for Sports Excellence in Bengaluru has been extended to March 22. The SFI has planned to make some changes for the year. Water polo and diving championships will be held separately, not alongside swimming. They are also planning an all India ranking tournament based on time trial format to ensure more participation of the swimmers.
Sports science expert at the camp
Sports science expert Dr Genadijus Sokolovas has been conducting several tests, including a swim power test, which can help check every aspect of the stroke and even breathing while swimming. Biomechanics based technique analysis, start and turn analysis, lactate profiles for training zones and recovery protocols were some of the other tests.
"They have so much room to be faster. It's about learning how to swim correctly. Main thing for the Indian swimmers is to develop better beginning strokes. It's important not to overuse the arm , they need to use the body and arms to get faster. Some of them need to work under water as well. If they improve these, then they will be much faster. By the next Olympics, multiple A cuts can be there. Tokyo Olympics will be hard, there are just six months," Sokolovas added.