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Cast net wider, coaches urge SFI

Calcutta: Twenty-four national records in a six-day event, but the coaches of the champions are far from happy with the prevailing conditions.

A four-day meeting of top Indian coaches, which went on simultaneously with the 57th national aquatic championships, decided to propose that the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) increase the participation for the tournament.

“We don’t have more than 2000 competitive swimmers all around the country. So we have asked the SFI to start a talent search programme in the coastal states of Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala,” a coach said.

In fact, the coaches are ready to volunteer for the project.

The coaches also pointed out four factors — height, agility, flexibility and buoyancy ability as the required criteria for the production of quality swimmers.

“The volleyball authorities had taken up a height-hunting programme and are reaping the harvest. We have proposed the SFI to take up a similar project in the near future,” the coach added.

Another point that came up for discussion is the stringent qualification procedure for the nationals. “That’s why many good swimmers miss out on the berth. We’ve asked the SFI to revise this and they have promised to look into the matter.”

A proposal was also given to implement the Karnataka model on a national level. “But it wasn’t exactly entertained because the infrastructure in Karnataka is much better than in other parts of the country,” the coach said.

Karnataka retained the overall title in the tournament by quite margin.

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