Ranchi: While India, like the entire world, continues to go gaga over Michael Phelps historic 23-Olympic Golds, they have struggled to unearth a champion swimmer who would win medals at Olympics.
However, the aspiring champions are not giving up. One of them is a 16-year-old state-level swimmer Rekha Kumari from Jharkhand. She, along with a bunch of youngsters, gets together 10 km outside Ranchi, Jharkhand’s capital, to practise in the overflowing waters of a dam.
The youngsters are trained under the Swimming Federation of India programme, which spots and trains swimmers from poor background. The programme is designed to help them represent India at the national and international platform. According to a 'NDTV' report, the dam where they practise is dangerous.
The situation is appalling considering a full-fledged National Stadium with an Olympic-sized swimming pool was built in Ranchi in 2011. However, the doors of the same are shut and the officials are failing to explain why, according to the report.
"How do you teach students to dive in this dam? There are no proper diving points. I wish the government does something about it," the report quoted coach Umesh Kumar as saying.
Rekha, who wishes to represent India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said, “Yes, we are afraid. But we have to do this. I want to win an Olympic medal."
It is also learnt that the swimming pool at the National Stadium in Ranchi was opened for more than fifty students and coaches but they were asked to pack their bags and vacate the facilities without providing any explanation.