SFI Secretary General expects four to five medals in CYG

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Pune, Oct 15 (UNI) The secretary general of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) Virender Nanawati is expecting a haul of four to five medals from the Youth Commonwealth Games in the swimming category which will get underway here today.

Speaking to UNI, Nanawati said ''considering the present performances of the Indian swimmers we have better chances in the men's section then the women's section.'' He said ''we would have expected a richer haul, but the Commonwealth Games Federation decided to delete a few of the long distance events, where we would have had very good chances of a medal.'' Nanawati also said, ''When you know your swimmer's best timing is around two to three seconds behind what the timings of the top swimmers are, then it is realistic to inform the people of not expecting medals in major events. You have to be realistic, we are improving but not at the pace at which the top swimmers are improving,'' he added.

Speaking about the SFI's efforts towards training and improvement of its swimmers, Nanawati agreed that though the Indian swimmers had improved a lot, they still have to go a long way towards reaching the level where they can expect medals from them.

''We have chalked out a programme whereby the swimmers will be in training for 305 days in a year, out of which 80 days would be kept aside for foreign training and participation in international meets.

Speaking about what is keeping the Indian swimmers from shinning and winning medals in major international meets, the secretary general said ''Our swimmers do have the talent to do well at the top most level, but we lack in the other supporting training facilities like scientific back-up and proper infrastructure in majority of the places.'' ''We also have to decide on studies or swimming, which takes the focus away from proper and continuous training. Michael Phelps of America has to concentrate only on swimming. He is either training or eating or sleeping. Over here we still cannot neglect our studies which proves to be a hindrance,'' he said.

However, Nanawati said ''the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after they saw Virdhawal Khade in the Beijing Olympics has agreed to support his training programme. I am sure with this backing this young swimming icon will go a long way and bring more laurels for the country,'' he added.

UNI GS CS BD1400

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