I have got a feel of venue and settings: Nisha

Published: Friday, August 11, 2000, 18:23 [IST]

Bangalore: India's only confirmed entry for swimming is 18-year-old Bangalore prodigy Nisha Millet. Nisha won the overall championship in the senior National in 1994 as a 12-year-old and has never looked back ever since.

From then on, Nisha has conquered all that is left to conquer at home. Nisha holds five National records, 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m free style and 100m back stroke events.

Nisha, who missed the last senior Nationals held in Mumbai, came back with a bang and she became the first Indian swimmer to gain an International Olympic Committee's Solidarity scholarship, which helped her to train in Perth since January, 2000.

She took a break from her raining schedule to represent the country in Asian championship held in Pusan, South Korea in March, where she clocked a National best of 59.42 seconds, thus becoming the first Indian girl to go under a minute in the event.

But the big moment came in the Australian junior meet, where she her clocked personal and National best of two minutes and 6.62 seconds to attain the Olympic qualifying mark in the event.

It was indeed a great achievement and if Nisha clips another three seconds from her timing, it will among the top three timings in Asia.

Nisha also participated in Australian Olympic trials in Sydney at the main Olympic pool. I had a feel of venue and the settings. The training here has given me lot of confidence . I have swam with some of the best swimmers in the World today, like Susan O' Neil. I hope to do my best in Olympics ", Nisha, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award this year, says.

Would the Swimming Federation Of India (SFI) send more swimmers for the Olympics? That is an open question as none of the Indians, who went for the Asia Pacific championship held in Chinese Taipei, could reach the qualifying mark.

But according to insider sources, the Federation might send one more contestant, who is likely to be S H Hakimuddin of Karnataka. The Karnataka swimmer came pretty close to the qualifying mark (1:55.32) in the 200m free style for men, clocking 1 minute 56.11 seconds in the Asia Pacific meet.

Hakimuddin is keeping his fingers crossed for the good news from SFI.

 

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