It was a celebratory temper on the dinner hosted by Jain College chancellor Dr Chenraj Roychand Jain on Thursday for his or her champion swimmers who’ve ensured the hosts are on prime of the medal tally with a wealthy medal haul of 16 gold, 5 silver and three bronze on the ongoing Khelo India College Video games 2021.
Having fun with the delicious vegetarian meal had been two champions whose performances stood out on the prestigious occasion: Olympian Srihari Nataraj and his up to date Siva Sridhar. “I would like my customary ice cream after each race,” exclaimed Srihari, Siva who nodded in settlement. “We each often have an enormous scoop of ice cream after our races, this has been a behavior for a few years,” talked about Siva who bagged a complete of seven gold and two silver. whereas Srihari bagged six gold, one silver.
The 2 swimmers: foes within the pool however expensive associates off it have been carefully holding tabs of one another’s success since 2008. “I met Siva in 2008 throughout a Swim Life competitors for non-medalists. He beat me in all of the occasions,” remembers Srihari vividly and was fast so as to add that he beat him the subsequent yr in the identical occasions.
The 2 have shared wholesome rivalry over the previous couple of years, be it Sub-Junior Nationals, Junior Nationals or the Senior Nationals. “I believe until 2014, he would beat me in just about all of the backstroke occasions. That was our fundamental occasion: 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke. The races had been all the time shut,” recalled Srihari.
From criticizing on one another’s performances to arguing who was the most effective in a race, from conveying compliments on their races to exchanging notes on their coaching periods, the duo engages in nonstop banter when they’re out of the water. “We’re warring within the pool however once we are outdoors, we’re actually good associates. We all know one another’s households additionally for a really very long time and it’s all the time been this wholesome rivalry,” defined Siva, who’s on the cusp of successful the person champion title on the KIUG 2021 with most medals.
Whereas Siva is the quieter one, and likes to pay attention, Srihari just isn’t the one to cease chattering away. Giving unwarranted recommendation most of the time, Srihari mentioned, “He generally doesn’t plan his races properly. He opens too quick and finally ends up getting slower in his end however I believe right here, he was actually good in most of his races notably the 200m IM (the place Siva set a brand new meet document).”
“Typically he offers me excellent recommendation and generally he will get me labored up so I simply ignore him,” laughed Siva reacting to Srihari’s recommendation.
However introspecting on his personal efficiency over the previous couple of years, particularly compared to Srihari’s who has gone on to turn into the youngest to clock the Olympic Qualification mark, Siva mentioned: “I believe I misplaced out on valuable years after I opted to go to South Africa for 3 years on a swimming scholarship in 2015 April. I used to be house sick; I had gotten very lean and I got here again a lot slower. Once I watched Srihari within the 2017 Junior Nationwide Championships in Pune, I assumed, wow! he has gone method forward of me. That’s when it bought to me that issues aren’t working for me in South Africa, I had hit and plateau and determined to return again to India for good. Once I got here again, I couldn’t even qualify for nationals. It was dangerous and I’ve actually needed to work laborious to bounce again.”
Taking part in catch up now, Siva is hopeful of constructing on the large confidence he has gained from his performances right here on the Khelo India College Video games 2021 to up his recreation within the upcoming months the place they are going to be competing in an array of occasions together with the Senior Nationals, the place Siva would try to make the mark for Asian Video games. “There’s a lot I’m taking away from my performances right here at KIUG. It was reassuring that I nonetheless have it in me to make the minimize for Asian Video games, the place I want to enter for the 100m backstroke together with Hari (Srihari) who has already certified.,” mentioned Siva.
“That might be very nice if he can really qualify for the Asian Video games and if we each can swim 100m backstroke identical to good outdated instances. Now, he wants to chop nearly 1.5 seconds in 100m backstroke and stands an opportunity in 200m IM too and I positively assume he can do it,” signed off Srihari.