A total of over 1,500 swimmers from across the country will take part in the 37th Sub-Junior and 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships 2021 in Bengaluru. The National Aquatic Championships will commence on October 19.
The National Aquatic Championships will serve as a selection trial for the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) to name a 10-member team to train and compete with the South African National Swimming Team in January 2022.
Speaking to journalists, SFI Secretary General Monal Chokshi said:
"SFI will be selecting probable swimmers from 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships 2021 for a 10-member team for the upcoming joint training camp with the South African Junior squad in early 2022."
SFI will also identify swimmers for a long-term national program aimed at preparing swimmers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The National Aquatic Championships will be followed by the much-awaited 74th Senior National Aquatic Championships 2021 which will witness India’s elite swimmers battle for top honors.
In the junior category, Karnataka’s Ridhima Virendrakumar, Nina Venkatesh, Sanvi Rao, Shoan Ganguly, Utkarsh S Patil, Vidith Shankar and Sambhav R are billed to bring home top honors.
Maharashtra’s Vedaant Madhavan, Ananya Joshi, Aryan Varnekar, Apeksha Fernandes, Kiara Bangera, Uthkarsh Gor and Palak Damini are expected to perform well in their respective events. The same is also expected from Tamil Nadu’s Vishesh Parmeshwar and Delhi’s Bhavya Sachdeva.
Olympians will be the star attraction of National Aquatic Championships
In the senior category, two-time Olympian Sajan Prakash will lock horns with Karnataka’s Srihari Nataraj for the individual championship title. Earlier this year, both swimmers became the first Indians to achieve the Olympic Standard Time to participate at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Gujarat’s Maana Patel, who also participated in the Tokyo Olympics, is expected to create ripples at her pet events - the 50m and 100m backstroke.
Monal Chokshi expressed delight over the resumption of the national calendar following the pandemic.
"We are absolutely thrilled that the National Championships are finally taking place after the pandemic disrupted swimming activities across India. We had to ensure all the states have resumed swimming for competitive swimmers before we announced the dates for the Nationals and I am happy to state that all the Member Units were unanimous in their support to go ahead with the prestigious National Championships."
In addition to several SOPs laid out by SFI, a specific COVID-19 mandate is also in place. All swimmers, coaches, and technical officials participating in the 37th Sub Junior, 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships and 74th Senior National Aquatic Championships 2021 will need to submit a negative COVID RT-PCR test report on arrival. The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to their departure to Bengaluru.
All swimmers and officials also need to have the Aarogya Setu app on their devices. They must follow physical distancing measures at all locations, except athletes on the deck.
A COVID-19 task force will also be constituted by the organizing committee to ensure the implementation of the protocols issued by the MHA and the respective state government.
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