National swimming coach Pradeep Kumar today said a foreign coach is likely to come on board to train the five swimmers who have qualified for the FINA World Championship at Kazan, Russia, in July.
“We are trying to get somebody from abroad, probably in a month’s time or so. We have made a couple of recommendations to the Government and we are waiting for the approval,” he said here.
Kumar was talking to reporters at the announcement of Swimmathon 2015, an open water race recognised by the Swimming Federation of India, to be held in Goa on February 22.
Five swimmers -- 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Virdhawal Khade (50m Freestyle), Aaron Dsouza (200m Freestyle), Saurabh Sangvekar (400m, 1500m Freestyle), 2014 Asiad bronze winner Sandeep Sejwal (50m, 200m Breaststroke) and Sajan Prakash (200m Butterfly) -- have qualified for the World Championship.
“We are looking at long term. Normally, the swimming coaches are highly paid. If we don’t pay them well they may not come. If we don’t get a top coach, there is no point bringing in a mediocre coach. It is not that Indian coaches can’t do. What we lack is technology.
“Even if a foreign coach comes, he will depend a lot on technology and scientific stuff. Along with a foreign coach we need to improve our infrastructure and technology. Assessment of an athlete is most important. Swimming and gymnastics are basically technical sports. You need to work on minute techniques,” Kumar explained.
He said the foreign coach has to start training the swimmers from the age of 13-15 to groom them properly.
“We had a foreign coach (Australian Eric Arnold) for a long duration in 1986, after that we didn’t have anyone. Others have come for one or two months and then gone but that has no meaning. At least they should be there for one Olympic cycle.”
The male and female winners in the 5km and 10 km races in Goa will get a chance to compete in the open water swimming category at Kazan, it was announced.
Khade is the brand ambassador for the event and would take part in the 250m dream swim.