Look, that's the world champion…and over there, the world record holder.
With some of the world's best swimmers here for the Commonwealth Games, you would think the Indians are here just to make the numbers and enjoy the big party. But that's not the case.
Olympian Rehan Poncha, who owns four national records (best Indian times), is a classic case.
“I'm in the best form of my life, I've never trained as hard as I've done now for these Games,” said the 24-year-old, who was recently in the US for training, on Sunday.
“You're racing against the world's best here and I'm looking to improve my timings in a big way.”
Well, he'll be trying to cut the distance and get closer to the stars.
Rehan, who won the country's best swimmer title at three senior nationals, plans to lower his time in the 200m butterfly from around two minutes to something like 1:57.
“That could be a top-five finish. And I'll have Australian Nick D'Arcy, the top 200 flyer after Phelps, in my event,” said the Arjuna Awardee.
Indians have never won a swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games and it appears to be getting tougher and tougher each year.
“But this time, four of us — Virdhawal who does the sprints, Sandeep (breast stroke), 200m freestyle star Aaron and myself — could come close,” said Rehan.
Rehan, who holds the best Indian times in the 200m butterfly, 200 back and the 200 and 400 individual medleys, hopes to draw inspiration from the huge crowd which is expected for swimming.
“I love the crowd's attention, that sure is going to help me.”
Rehan was also thrilled to hear that Richa Mishra, the country's best woman swimmer who was dropped from the Commonwealth Games team following a positive dope test, was back in the squad.
“I'm very happy for her,” he said. “I've grown up with her in swimming, am a close friend. I confide a lot in her.”
With the big stars all around him, Rehan was moving around the Games Village with a camera in hand the other day.
“This is the first time, I'm taking photos at the Village,” he said.
Surely, when the big prints come out, they will inspire him in a big way.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010