The Indian swimming fraternity has welcomed the decision to reopen swimming pools across the country after Sports Ministry issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on Friday. Virdhawal Khade one of six Indian swimmers who have achieved the Olympic qualification B mark and who participated in the 2008 Olympics welcomed the decision.
“It is an excellent decision. I am glad the swimmers will get a chance to get back to full form and race again soon. I hope the state governments take decision to fully support the decision taken by the centre at the soonest and 100% of the competitive swimmers can start training again,” Khade was quoted as saying in a press release.
In August, SAI had sanctioned a two-month training camp in Dubai, attended by swimmers Srihari Nataraj and Kushagra Rawat, both of whom have achieved the B Qualification mark along with Sajan Prakash.
Though he had trained in Dubai, Nataraj is happy to be training in India once again. “I’m very glad that swimming pools are opening up in India, being able to train by staying at home does make me a feel a lot better especially due to the fact I have my entire support staff available and the schedule can be designed for maximum efficiency,” Nataraj said.
Despite the delays brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic, a postponed Olympics may just help Indian swimmers and Dronacharya awardee coach Nihar Ameen has said the resumption of training is a positive step in this regard. “I am very optimistic that our Olympic B qualifiers will work very hard to attain the A qualifying time and all our swimmers across the country are very enthusiastic about resuming their training,” Ameen said.