For policemen, who were busy controlling the Samikyandhra agitators on city thoroughfares, the news of their fellow cop winning medals at the World Police and Fire Aquatic Meet at Belfast (Ireland), over the wireless sets, came as a morale booster.
The 25-year-old Mothukuri Tulasi Chaitanya, a head constable attached to Krishna Lanka police station, set the pool ablaze by winning three medals (two gold and one silver) - the first-ever medal haul in a world meet in the history of Andhra Pradesh police department.
He won gold medals in 100-metres freestyle and 4x50 freestyle relay and silver in the 100-metres backstroke. He qualified for the world meet following his stupendous show at the all India police aquatic meet at Guwahati (Assam) in 2012, where he won five medals.
Against all odds, Tulasi strove hard to pursue his passion - swimming - and the support from senior IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi came as a shot in the arm for the youngster. Mr. Trivedi, Additional Director General of Police (Sports), made arrangements for the budding swimmer to train at the Basavangudi Aquatic Centre at Bangalore for nine months under the watchful eyes of NIS coach Pradeep Kumar for the world meet.
“My department offered its untiring support to my son. These medals will inspire Tulasi in his future challenges,” said Mothukuri Ramakrishna Rao, who also serves the city police commissionrate.
It was the crafty senior swimming coach Sambasiva Rao at Sir Vizzi Swimming complex at Gandhinagar, who identified the natural flair in Tulasi and guided him perfectly. “After the initial training at Vijayawada, I advised him to join the SAAP academy at Vizag. Along with honing his swimming skills, he went on to finish senior intermediate there and took part in several State meets and won medals,” Rao added.
After his graduation in arts from city’s SRR & CVR College, the talented swimmer joined the police department in 2012 as a constable. “My favourite events were 50 and 100-metres freestyle,” said Tulasi before leaving for Belfast. Incidentally, his sister Mounica is also an accomplished swimmer and she won medals in the CBSE and State meets.