Indian swimming has lengthy been in a slumber. It’s not a force to reckon with even on the Asian and Commonwealth Games, not to mention the Olympics.
In the presence of powerhouses like China and Japan, India has only one silver and two bronze medals to present on the continental stage, in 17 editions for the reason that first in 1951. At the Commonwealth Games, it has zero medals, as Australia, England, Canada and South Africa have dominated.
At the Olympics, no Indian swimmer has even reached the semifinals. Until Tokyo, India didn’t have a single swimmer who had secured a berth by going underneath the A-mark Qualification Time.
Though India has had steady participation from 1996 by way of the likes of Sebastian Xavier and Sangeeta Puri (Atlanta 1996), Nisha Millet (Sydney 2000), Shikha Tandon (Athens 2004), Sandeep Sejwal and Virdhawal Khade (2008 Beijing), it was both by way of the B-mark qualification route or the universality quota provided to nations from the place no swimmer has made the lower.
Khade precipitated a sensation as a 16-year-old in 2008, changing into the youngest Indian swimmer to enter the Olympics.
In current occasions, Srihari Nataraj has displayed a related youthful verve and can hope to break India’s duck, alongside Sajan Prakash in Tokyo.