Back in the pool | Sports News,The Indian Express

Written by Shivani Naik
| Mumbai |

October 23, 2020 1:10:48 am

Indian elite swimmers (L-R) Kushagra Rawat, Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash throughout their two-month Dubai stint after resuming coaching.

India’s elite swimmers felt like fish out of water once they received into the pool for the first few days after restrictions put in place as a consequence of the pandemic had been lifted.

Kushagra Rawat felt his head bouncing whereas respiration out of water and knew his swimming rhythm had gone haywire. Backstroke specialist Srihari Nataraj had no consciousness of how his arms had been transferring in water the first 3-Four days on his return to the pool. Even 18 years spent with a thousand repetitions day in, day trip, couldn’t be certain that the paddle would keep intact when India’s three elite swimmers – Sajan Prakash additionally skilled in Dubai – resumed coaching.

Back in India now, they realise hitting pre-pandemic period speeds goes to be troublesome. “This is going to take longer. Two months more perhaps,” Srihari (19), stated.

Having camped in Dubai on the again of as sturdy dry-land coaching as was doable at house, Srihari, dipped his toes again into coaching blissful that he was again in water. “It felt weird first 3-4 days and there was no feel of water. I had no idea what was happening with my arms nor awareness of where they were going, though they were moving. I couldn’t grab any water. It came back slowly in two weeks,” says the Bangalorean backstroker.

He will keep locked in his room for 2 extra days on his return, since he has grandparents’ security (above 70) to think about. “After that my parents are deciding if I should continue in Bangalore or look at training abroad,” he provides.

Srihari says he’s nonetheless a month or two out from hitting high timing.

Rawat concurs. “Target was to get as close to previous bests as possible. But I’m not very close to my best at all,” says the 18-year-old, who’s hoping Talkatora waters in Delhi are allowed to open no less than for aggressive swimmers in the coming months. “Or else I’ll go to Bangalore. I’ll need at least a month and half,” says the 800-freestyle specialist.

On discovering the elusive really feel of water after 5 months of coaching restricted to health club work, Rawat stated, “First three weeks, body was sore from all the gym work (he’s set up makeshift workout equipment in his terrace). But initially there was no tempo at all. My head was bouncing weirdly while breathing. The hips were not aligned and I was leaning more on the right. And sometimes the left hand was going out too much. I was just not getting the stroke – something that came so naturally at the start of the year.”

Srihari would lend his GoPro system for Rawat to analyse what limb actions had been going astray.


A effective of 3000 dirhams awaited anybody caught strolling round with no masks wherever outdoors the perimeter of the pool, Rawat says. “And if someone wasn’t following social distancing, then after two warnings they would just cancel the session. Didn’t happen to us, but it was strictly enforced,” he provides.

The Indians swam a few hours morning and night. “But if the session started at 7.30, we had to walk in just before the start, and vacate by 9.30,” Rawat recollects.

While the Delhi lad had on-line school courses to attend, spare time noticed the trio play desk tennis at the resort. “I wasn’t very good. Hari (Nataraj) was the best,” he laughs.

The resort chef was additionally sounded out on including daal to the menu for the Indians, and ramping up on veggies in the salads. “Everyone had a couple of extra kgs to lose,” Rawat added.

For Srihari, the climate was the huge downside. “Put me in a sub-zero place and I wouldn’t mind. But I’m not a big fan of the heat,” he would say. The trio received themselves examined as soon as earlier than leaving and twice on entry and exit from Dubai.


Back at house now, the Swimming Federation of India has drawn up its security tips penned by famend coach Nihar Amin. SFI just lately spelt out its zero-tolerance coverage on breaking security guidelines. President Jayaprakash stated, “We’ll always put lives in front of any sport so I urge everyone not to go back even 1 per cent on SOPs. We are requesting state governments to reopen pools for sportspersons but strict action will be taken against anyone deviating from protocols.”

With 4 swimmers in the world’s Top 40, the SFI has formidable plans to equipment out two swimming pools – one in Delhi and the Dravid Padukone centre in Bangalore – with hi-tech wearables to file parameters and high-end bio-mechanic gear like underwater cameras for race analyses.

However, whilst a number of states train warning in reopening swimming pools for all racing swimmers above 12, the process is reduce out for India’s high aggressive pack.

Amin’s SOP specifies minimal chlorine ranges at 1.8-2 ppm at 7-7.Four pH and filtration two hours earlier than and after each session. Only two swimmers per lane are allowed with out of doors showers, they usually have been instructed to make use of lifeless leap or begin blocks to enter water and keep away from touching handrails and pool ladders.

The SOP additionally spells out detailed milestones for resumption with emphasis on shoulder damage prevention and micro-cycles of accelerating load and reps. It’s solely in the third month that specializing in the goal speciality stroke is really helpful. “While returning to training, an aerobic base endurance level has to be re-developed. This is usually done in the freestyle or front-crawl stroke. As basic endurance improves over the first eight weeks or so, swimmers should swim of their main stroke – butterfly for example will increase gradually. Sharper focus on main stroke volume and intensity should come in the third micro-cycle. This is a good way to be cautious and prevent injury after a long layoff,” Amin defined.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.