Ranchi, Feb 16 (PTI) For India''s No 1 swimmer Vir DhawalKhade, "Swimming is a business."
The fastest swimmer of the country and the ''Golden'' boyof the swimming events at the 34th National Games here,Maharashtra''s Khade is very clear about his perception aboutthe sport.
After winning gold in the 50m freestyle with record timeof 23.08s here on Tuesday, Khade was forthright about how helooked at why swimming for him was a lucrative option.
"I am into swimming for money. To pursue any sportnowadays is an expensive proposition for which you do need alot of money," a candid Khare told PTI in an interview.
Supporting the players who represent other states forfinancial reasons, Khade questioned,"What is wrong inrepresenting a state or a club, which pays you more money?"
"I am from Maharashtra but I am playing for my state onlybecause they have promised a good deal for me," he added.
Asked as to what is the monetary benefit he would get forwinning a gold at the National Games, he said that theMaharashtra government has promised a job and Rs 5 lakh forthe gold medallists, Rs 3 lakh for a silver and Rs 2 lakh forwinning a bronze.
The only son of Vikram Khade, who was a former basketballplayer and now a jaggery businessman, Khade has won threegold and two bronze medals till now at the 34th national gamesand he is expecting atleast six more gold medals in differentindividual events.
Talking about the scope of swimming in the country, theBCom part-I student of Kolhapur said that in the last fewyears there has been a drastic change in the swimming arena ofthe country.
Citing his own example, he said that at the age of about15 years in 2007 when he qualified for the Bijing Olympicsothers were inspired and the very next year just before thestart of the Olympics three more boys qualified for it.
Khade says that his main aim is to atleast reach thesemifinals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the LondonOlympics.