The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) has cancelled the upcoming Senior National Championship, which was to start on March 24 in Rajkot, after several states expressed their inability to send teams, said SFI secretary general Monal Chokshi on Wednesday.
“State units in northern India as well as those from the North East have complained that swimming facilities were yet to open. Therefore, we have decided to cancel the national competition,” Chokshi told IANS
The three-day national competition was to be held from March 24-27.
“Rising Covid-19 cases in some of the states is another reason for the postponement of the Rajkot competition. There has been night crew in some parts of Maharashtra while bordering states like Madhya Pradesh are taking precautionary measures to avoid the spread of new coronavirus cases,” said a senior coach from Delhi.
According to Chokshi, the Rajkot national meet was part of the 2020 calendar that couldn’t be conducted last year due to pandemic.
“The federation is planning to announce the 2021 calendar shortly. We hope to organise Senior National competition in June while junior and sub-junior competitions would take place in July,” Chokshi said of the tentative SFI plan.
The Delhi Swimming Association (DSA) is one of the states in north India where swimming competition is yet to resume properly.
“Although Dr Shyama Prasad Kukherjee Swimming Pool Complex, the main indoor pool having modern facilities opened last month, it’s limited only for elite swimmers preparing for national or international competitions. Several outdoor pools run by the Delhi government are yet to open,” said DSA secretary Raj Kumar.
Kumar said that due to pandemic swimmers haven’t trained for the last 14 months.
“This time we might not expect good results in the national competitions. One or two private pools in Haryana have started functioning but government pools are yet to start. It’s a difficult situation. We hope things will improve in the coming weeks,” said Kumar.
Since national competition isn’t happening, said Kumar, the state trials have also been postponed. “It’s good that the proposed national meet is in June. It will give swimmers more time to prepare,” he said.