The young 17-year old swimmer believes that “hard work does not go in vain.” He still remembers the days when he used to pray to get the Indian Jersey on him. His first International meet was Asian Age Group 2015 held at Bangkok. He holds 26 National level medals and several International level medals and a record at State and National level. He recently bagged a gold and bronze medal in 200m and 100m freestyle respectively.
Which animal best represents you
Tiger, as it resembles me very well. It’s like having courage to do difficult tasks, fearlessness, having a dynamic personality, having respect from both friends and rivals. Moreover I imagine myself as tiger as it can go from being fiery and fearless to calm and emotional in a blink of an eye.
Your dream job
My dream job is to establish the best sports academy in my country with all the infrastructures and facilities.
Which is more logical to follow?
Personally, I would say heart. As I am a soft-hearted person and I have always taken decisions accordingly what my heart says and it in a way helped me to be a better person.
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another athlete, who would it be
I would love to be Alexander Popov as I am a big fan of him. And I have been observing him from my childhood days.
One habit that you want to break
I always had a sweet tooth from my childhood and couldn’t resist myself from eating all that sugary dishes. I wouldn’t say that I have completely broken that habit, but yes, I am trying my best to do that.
What drives you to go for training every day?
Frankly, what motivates me the most is to prove my criticizer’s that I am not one of those who would go down easily. To make a better version of myself every day.
Any rituals you follow
I am really possessive of what I have in my hand which is red in colour which includes cap, shoes and the list goes on. The second one is that I always keep headphones all the time and listen to rock music just before the race. Third one is that I gaze through my gallery to look at the best memories captured. Then right after the race I see my coaches.
One match you are proud of
I feel one should feel proud of every race they have swam whether it’s a win or loss respectively. But for me my first ever national level medal would be something I am still proud of. It was National School games and it was my last year in UNDER 14 category. I had lost all my previous races in which I was supposed to clinch a medal. It was 100m freestyle and I was swimming on lane 7. But as we say ”Hard work does not go in vain” and I swam that race so well that I ended up having a bronze.
What does it mean to represent India?
It is the ultimate feeling in the universe. I still remember those days when I used to pray for that Indian jersey. I still get goosebumps when I wear my kit. Nothing can match this feeling.
Your ultimate achievement
My Ultimate aim is to win medal at the Olympic and World championship.
How will you want to be known in 10 years?
I would love to be known as the fastest swimmer in 100m and 200m freestyle that India has ever produced and also to hold several world class records.
Area of your game you need to improve
I think I will have to focus on my starts and reaction timings. I have been practicing them a lot over a period of time, but I know for sure that I am getting better than before.
Initial hurdles you faced
Initially I was really chubby and short in height which was not good considering swimming as a competitive sport. But managing it over the years with a perfect diet and guideline I have improved my structure. And when I started swimming it was taking away a lot of study time, but by learning time management and massive support from school I did overcome the academic difficulties.
Perks of being an athlete
Being an athlete will always keep your body healthy and fit. It also teaches various skills like teamwork, being passionate, leadership, confidence and many more. Moreover, it always gives you a chance to prove yourself and be a better version of yourself every single day.
Best sports movie ever
The best one is ”ROCKY BALBOA SERIES”. The way it shows the rise of an amateur boxer to a world class boxer is just to be inspired from. The one-line I like the most from the movie is “IT DOES’NT MATTER HOW HARD YOU HIT, ITS ABOUT HOW HARD YOU CAN GET HIT AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD.AND THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE.”
My short-term goals include representing India and to win a medal at Asian age group. To break National record in 200m freestyle and to get qualified for the World junior championship. My long-term goal is to qualify and get a good position in 2018 Asian games and to participate and win a medal at Common Wealth, Olympic and to participate in World Championship.
“Be the best coach for a swimmer”
Your bucket list
First I would go to L.A and party, later on a long trip to Switzerland. I have controlled myself from doing adventure trips over the years, but I would love to do bungee jumping from Kawara bridge and explore Bahamas for some good days.
Your plans for TOKYO 2020
I have already started gearing up for it. It’s almost 3 years from now and there are lot of aspects to work on and being focused about it. It will definitely be a tough task to manage both academics and sports but I am pretty sure that I will work more to manage.
Scariest experience you ever had
Getting my googles filled with water. I was scared as I didn’t know what to do. I swam the whole race with blurry eyes and finished it.
Your most Embarrassing moment
at the state meet 2017. The place was so humid that it was really tiring to put up my suite and my event was about to take place. So in a bit hurry my costume got torn apart right from middle. It was quite embarrassing.
One super power you wish you had
I really want a head start in a 50m race as it is best power for me now.
Your biggest inspiration
My seniors were my biggest inspiration. They are the biggest influence I ever had in my life. I used to look up to them every time. They motivated me in every possible situation. I wish I could be a good senior like them.