Guwahati: The top swimmers of the country will contend for top spot and seek to book a berth in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Tokyo by participating at the Khelo India Youth Games.
Many bigwigs like Srihari Nataraj, Saloni, Swadesh Mondal, Mihir Amrel Shivangi Sarmah, Astha Choudhary and several others will take part in the competition to be held at Dr Zakir Hussain Aquatic Complex swimming pool in Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati at the ongoing 3rd Khelo India Youth Games 2020.
Among the plethora of talented sportspersons, national record-holder Astha Choudhary from Assam, who is representing Delhi, is eyeing gold in the 200m and 100m butterfly event to be held on January 21 & 22, respectively. During an interview with EastMojo, the 15-year-old Assamese swimmer mentioned that she expects a better result than KIYG 2019 held in Pune.
“Last year, I broke the national record and I am expecting a better result this time and I am targeting for Asian Games,” Astha mentioned during an interview with EastMojo.
Astha broke the seven-year-old national record in 50m breaststroke twice last year at KIYG, Pune and again in School Games Federation of India nationals.
Sharing more insight on her preparations for KYIG 2020, the swimmer said, “I was nervous till a point of time but I also feel motivated. There were certain negativities but then I spoke to my coach Parta Pratim Majumder who has been coaching for the past four years and he keeps motivating me and Sports Authority of India has also supported us a lot.”
The Assam-born swimmer also maintains a strict schedule that includes several hours of training.
“I wake up at 5 am and then I go for my training that starts from 5:15 am and continues to 7:30 am. After having my breakfast, I go to my school. Till 12:20 pm I am at my school after which I have my tuition as I have my Class X Board exams coming up so that goes on from 1 pm to 2:15 pm. After having my lunch, I have to go to practice again from 3:15 pm to 6:45 pm followed by gym training. I have my dinner between 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm after that we get our phones for an hour after which we go for our studies again and then time to rest,” the Assam-born swimmer said.
The 15-year-old started training in Delhi following a trial where three other players were also selected. Astha’s selection also led her mother Monika Chiring Choudhury shifting to Delhi in order to support her daughter in balancing her education and sporting career.
“She used to live in Assam but after I told her that I am facing problems in balancing sport and education, she shifted to Delhi so that she can help me out,” the 15-year-old said.
The young swimmer who idolises Sarah Sjöström has the 2022 Asian Games in her books that will take place at Hangzhou. She also expressed confidence about India performing well in the upcoming Olympics with more competitors from across the nation taking up the sport.
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