India’s Olympic probables Srihari Nataraj, Kushagra Rawat and Mihir Ambre are set for a first-of-its-kind training camp as the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) has roped in the services of sports science expert Dr. Genadijus Sokolovas for their ongoing national camp in CSE, Bengaluru.
The senior national camp, which started on January 11 and will run till February 21, is the first since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nataraj, Rawat and Ambre have attained the B qualification mark for Tokyo Olympics which doesn't assure a direct qualification. The trio will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics if the total quota of swimmers is not reached by the end of the qualification period with June 27 being the cut-off date.
Sokolovas, a renowned sports science expert, has worked with the most decorated Olympian ever in Michael Phelps as a consultant in the past.
Swimming Federation of India Monal Chokshi believes that Sokolovas will bring in qualitative change among the Indian swimmers.
"I am very thankful to SAI (Sports Authority of India) for approving SFI's proposal to bring in a globally acclaimed sports scientist like Dr Genadijus Sokolovas to India," Choksi told PTI.
“This visit will herald in qualitative changes in Indian swimming by bringing world-class sport science support closer to our elite swimmers and potential talent for 2024 and 2028 (Olympics).”
Sokolovas' visit, which is estimated at around INR 8.78 lakhs will be covered under the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme).
Furthermore, following the national camp, the swimming federation is also planning for an exposure trip to South Africa.
"As of now, our choice is to go to South Africa for an exposure trip that will involve both competition and training. Tentatively, it will be around March-April for 60 days,” Choksi was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
“There are three competitions in South Africa during that period and are Olympic qualification events too. But everything depends on the travel restrictions and other protocols in place.”
Last year, the Tokyo probables had trained at Dubai’s Aqua Nation Swimming Academy under the supervision of coach AC Jairaj.