Tata Steel Swimming Training Centre cadets pose with their trophies at JRD Tata Sports Complex last week. Telegraph picture
Making a splash, creating waves, call it what you will, but Tata Steel Swimming Training Centre youngsters in Jamshedpur have proved themselves as the brightest stars of the swimming pool.
The 27-member East Singhbhum contingent for the state junior and sub-junior championship, which concluded in Ranchi on June 15, slotted home a whopping 50 medals to become champs for the record sixth time in a row. All 27 are Tata cadets. Between them, they notched up 27 gold, 16 silver and seven bronze.
Divided into age-specific groups, junior girls and boys included teams aged between 15-17 and 13-14, while sub-juniors included squads aged between 11 to 12 years and nine to 10 years.
Junior boys in age groups of 15-17 years and 13-14 years numbered five and three swimmers, respectively. Sub-junior boys in age groups of 11-12 years and 9-10 years numbered two in each.
Junior girls in age groups of 15-17 years and 13-14 years numbered five in each. There were three swimmers in sub-junior girls, 11-12 years, and two in the age group of 9-10 years.
Among boys, as many as six junior and three sub-junior swimmers picked up medals. Among girls, five junior and five sub-junior girls notched up medals for East Singhbhum.
Tata Steel Swimming Training Centre can well become the talent pool for India’s budding Mark Spitz or Jenny Thompson.
Already, there are champions aplenty.
Take for instance Sagnik Kar Roy (junior boys, 13-14 years), who notched gold in 100m and 50m freestyle, silver in 50m breaststroke and bronze in 4x50m relay.
Achisman Mitra (sub-junior boys, 11-12 years) netted a golden hat-trick — 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly.
Aaru Kumar (sub-junior boys, 9-10 years) grabbed gold in 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke as well as silver in 50m butterfly.
Bhavvya Verma (junior girls, 15-17 years) bagged four gold medals — 100m and 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 4x50 m relay. Shamishka Krishnan (junior girls, 13-14 years) also won four golds in all the categories. Aditi Singh (sub-junior girls, 11-12 years) repeated the feats of Bhavvya and Shamishka in her age group. Ishika Kumari (sub-junior girls, 9-10 years) took top slots in 50m breaststroke, 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke.
“Brilliant, that’s the only word to describe it,” said East Singhbhum District Swimming Association secretary Deepak Singh said. “Our winning streak started from 2008,” he added.
TSSTC in-charge Firoz Khan said the district outfit was picked after selection trials at the swimming pool of Tube Makers’ Club in Nildih.
“Out of 80 aspirants, 27 got selected. Today, all are medal winners,” he grinned.