Maana Patel started swimming when she was seven years old. Five years ago, she was meant to take the flight to Rio but was left disappointed to miss the Olympic bus then. An unfortunate shoulder injury threw her into the corridor of uncertainty.
Family support and professional help saw her bounce back with a bang and she was ready to chase her dreams. In 2015, the first time a swimmer was roped in for the Olympic Gold Quest, Patel was selected. She shot to fame, after winning six medals during the South Asian Games in 2016 in Guwahati.
She currently holds the record in the women’s 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke events.
She will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics in the Women’s 100m backstroke.
In 2020, she featured in the TedxYouth@MGIS, where she spoke about the journey of her swimming career. She focussed on tackling depression when she injured her shoulder that also debarred her from playing Junior Nationals and World Championship.
Age - 21
Sports/Discipline - Backstroke Swimming
Working Ranking - Unknown
First Olympic Games - Tokyo 2021
South Asian Games
• Silver – 50 m backstroke, 2016 Guwahati
• Silver – 100 m backstroke, 2016 Guwahati
• Silver – 200 m backstroke, 2016 Guwahati
• Silver – 200 m backstroke, 2019 Kathmandu
• Bronze – 50 m Freestyle, 2016 Guwahati
• Gold – 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay, 2016 Guwahati
• Gold – 4 x 100 m Medley Relay, 2016 Guwahati
• Gold – 50 m backstroke, 2019 Kathmandu
• Gold – 100 m backstroke, 2019 Kathmandu
Tokyo Olympics Qualification
Following some solid performances in European meets over the last three months, Patel got rewarded as she became the first Indian female swimmer to book her sport for the Olympics. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) approved the nomination of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and gave Patel the Universality quota. She will join Sajan Prakash and Srihari Natraj among the Indian swimming contingent.
Patel won three gold medals in 2018 at 72nd Senior National Aquatic Championships. In 2018, she triumphed in all three backstroke events at the Senior Nationals in Thiruvananthapuram. She made a comeback earlier this year after sustaining an ankle injury in 2019. Patel won a gold in April at a meet in Uzbekistan. She set a new national record and an individual best of 1 minute 03.77 seconds in 100m backstroke at the Belgrade meet.