Swimmers looking forward to the challenge

Swimmers looking forward to the challenge

It will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many of the swimmers in the Commonwealth Games squad to showcase their talent. The trio of Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and Rehan Poncha has the experience of Olympic Games in Beijing under their belt but it will be a totally different experience to swim in front of the cheering home crowd at the SP Mukherjee Swimming stadium.

“It will be exciting to swim with the crowd behind you,” said Khade, who will be competing in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 50 and 100 fly events. In-from breaststroker Sandeep is delighted with the prospect of the games being held in his home town. “I can’t wait for the meet to begin,” said Sandeep.

For most of the swimmers it will be a new experience. “It’s a rare chance mainly because you are the hosts. You go abroad and there is nobody to cheer you but this time it would be totally different. I am a little bit nervous but when the big day comes I will overcome it,” said Karnataka’s Rohit Havaldar.

Rohit, whose events in Delhi will be 100 and 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle, is targeting the finals of the 200 backstroke. “My aim is to qualify for the finals of 200 backstroke. If I can find my personal best timing then it will be possible,” added Rohit.

It will be hard to see any of the swimmers on the podium considering the level of competition. But the swimmers, now undergoing a camp in Delhi, hope to make the big occasion a memorable one. “We are working hard to bring out our best performance. We are lucky to train at the venue and hoping to make the most out of it,” pointed long distance swimmer Gagan AP.

Apart from Rohit, Poncha and Gagan, Aaron D’Souza and Pooja R Alva are the other Karnataka swimmers in the squad that might become bigger if the Commonwealth Games Federation oblige to the swimming federation’s request.

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