Maana Patel gears up for swimming nationals with an open mind

Young Indian swimmer Maana Patel at the Tokyo Olympics. (PC: Getty Images)
Young Indian swimmer Maana Patel at the Tokyo Olympics. (PC: Getty Images)

Maana Patel is gearing up for the Senior Swimming National Championship, the first tournament the ace Indian swimmer will be participating in after the Tokyo Olympics.

The Senior Swimming National Championship commences in Bengaluru on October 26. The four-day tournament will see the best in the business compete in the pool in multiple events.

Maana Patel, who currently holds the national record in the women’s 50m and 200m backstroke events, has been training hard, putting all her learnings from the Tokyo Olympics into use.

Read: Swimming National Championships: Can Srihari Nataraj retain his 200m freestyle national record?

Her record in the 100m backstroke event was broken by Ridhima Veerendrakumar at the 37th Sub-Junior and 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships held last week.

The Indian swimmer isn't reading too much into losing a seven-year-old record against her name. Speaking to Sportskeeda on the eve of the Senior Swimming National Championship, Maana Patel said it was good to see a lot of young swimmers breach benchmarks. She said:

"It is good to see a lot of young swimmers coming up and breaking records. For me, records don't motivate me as much. I just have to do what I am supposed to be doing and the results will follow. My aim is always to be better than what I was the last time and the key is to stick to what I have been doing consistently."

Maana Patel said it is a good and different feeling to be swimming in India after she competed abroad for long stretches in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. She said:

"It is good to be competing in the Senior Nationals after two years. It feels different to be racing in India after a long time. I am excited and looking forward for the tournament."

Maana Patel's future plans

The Senior National Swimming Championship will be Maana Patel's first competitive tournament since the Tokyo Olympics. The swimmer views it as a chance to be her best self in the pool.

"I have not set any targets for the Senior Nationals. I want to enjoy myself and be the best I can be."
Looking forward to kick start the racing calendar after a long break ! Best Wishes to all participants at the 2021 Sub Junior/Junior/Senior National Championships. Watch the action on live streaming .. follow us on FB19-23 & 26-29 October

The swimmer has set sights on qualifying for the Asian Games and hopes to breach the qualifying mark soon. Maana Patel is targeting the qualifying mark of 1:02.06s, which is the qualifying time for the third position in the 100m backstroke event.

Speaking about her future plans to qualify for the Asian Games, Maana Patel said:

"After the Senior Nationals, I'm going to sit down and talk to my coach. We have to pick some tournaments internationally that would help in my goal of qualifying for the Asian Games."

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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