‘Olympic medal far off, but there is progress’

Shikha feels Indians need better exposure and competition

May 30, 2020 10:32 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - New Delhi

Shikha Tandon.

Shikha Tandon.

An Olympic medal in swimming may be unimaginable for Indians at the moment, but Olympian Shikha Tandon said that she could see progress and it was important to stay on track.

In a chat with swimmers Srihari Nataraj and S.P. Likith on the web from her home in San Francisco, the 35-year-old Shikha, a product manager with an exercise intelligence company that helps athletes and coaches optimise training and performance, said that it was encouraging to find Indian swimmers looking at the A-qualification mark for the Tokyo Olympics as a realistic target.

“We have to do it step by step. From trying to achieve A-qualification for the first time, we can’t be talking about a medal. We must look at making the semifinals and then the final. It will take two or three Olympics.

“We have the talent and I want our swimmers to prove me wrong,” said Shikha, a member of the advisory board of the Sports School in Bengaluru.

Interestingly, the Sports School has three FINA-certified swimming pools, including one of Olympic size, with 10 lanes.

Shikha, who missed qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics by 0.05 seconds after competing in Athens 2004, still holds the National records in 50m and 100m freestyle.

Asserting that the only way to reach world standards was to race regularly with better swimmers, Shikha agreed that the Indians needed better exposure.

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