Indian national swimming coach Nihaar Ameen is distraught with the fact that swimming pools have been shut down for athletes in Bengaluru, in spite of having no positive cases from the pool. Nine swimmers are set to participate in the upcoming Uzbekistan Open Championships that begins on April 12.
With the second wave already striking hard, Karnataka is amongst the worst affected states in the country, with more than 4000 cases detected per day out of which Bengaluru accounts for the majority of them. In the wake of the situation, the state government has imposed regulations to curb the spread, which includes shutting down of swimming pools and gyms.
As many as nine Indian swimmers residing in the southern city are preparing for the upcoming Uzbekistan Open Championships, which is also a Tokyo Olympics qualification event. But the current situation means they would be left with no pools to train, which has not gone down well with the national coach Nihar Ameen, considering the fact there have been no positive cases from swimming.
“Last two months the swimmers have participated in two good races and given good performances. This closure of the pool will jeopardize the entire thing. There is no restriction on any other sport, why swimming?,” said Nihar Ameen, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“All the SOPs are in place. We didn’t have a single positive case in swimming so far, yet the pools are shut down. We understand cases are rising and the state government has taken certain steps, but at least allow the swimmers who have a competition at hand to train,” he added.
Nihar Ameen, one of the top swimmers and is also a part of the contingent that was training at the Padukone-Dravid Academy Centre for Sports Excellence, feels that if they do not get to train in the last five days ahead of the tournament, it is going to have an impact. So far, no swimmers have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, with the swimmers leaving for Uzbekistan on April 9.