Former Olympian Shikha Tandon feels that Indian swimmers are not getting enough competition time in a calendar year, which acts as a hindrance to their development. No Indian swimmers have breached the Olympic qualification ‘A’ mark for the Tokyo Games, which is months away from kick-off.
Swimming is not India’s forte at multi-sports events and it’s a fact that has been proven over and over again. Even in the 2016 Rio Olympics, only Sajan Prakash and Shivani Karatia managed to qualify for the Games but made early exits in their respective categories.
So far, none of the swimmers have made a cut to the 201 Tokyo Olympics, with the event just months away to kick-start. Former Olympian Shikha Tandon feels that the simmers need to compete in more events in a calendar year to able to match up the international level.
“Right now the way the Indian swimming calendar is structured, most swimmers in the country have one or two events to swim throughout the year. That’s not enough. We train throughout the year, multiple hours a week,” said Shikha Tandon, during an interview with The Olympic Channel.
“If you look at the Asian level and the global level, the one differentiating factor is that guys are racing a lot more. Maybe every two weeks. There’s a lot that you can learn when you compete. That’s something that we need to address,” added the 2004 Athens Olympics participant.
Shikha expects a few swimmers to make the Olympics ‘A’ cut and earn quotas for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She feels that the pandemic situation has spoiled plans for most of them, but with a few good recent performances following the comeback, Shikha is keeping her hopes high.
“I get that they have had a major setback with the pandemic spoiling all of their plans. But if there’s one thing about swimmers is that they are very resilient. And they are mentally really tough. The few meets that were held this month, they have given some really good timings given the fact that they were out of the pool for that long,” expressed Shikha.