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Chandigarh-born Chahat Arora wins another swimming gold

Chandigarh-born Chahat Arora wins another swimming gold

Making one more addition to her medal kitty, Chandigarh-born swimmer Chahat Arora won gold in the 50m breaststroke event during the ongoing 2nd National Swimming Ranking Championship in Odisha today.



Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, June 10

Making one more addition to her medal kitty, Chandigarh-born swimmer Chahat Arora won gold in the 50m breaststroke event during the ongoing 2nd National Swimming Ranking Championship in Odisha today.

What made her shift to Punjab

As there is no swimming association in Chandigarh, Chahat opted to shift to Punjab in 2017. She has won many medals at national and international competitions and also set several records. She represents Mohali in district meets and Punjab in state events.

The ace swimmer clocked 33:87 seconds to bag the pole position in the national meet. However, instead of representing Chandigarh, she played for Punjab in this championship. As there is no swimming association in Chandigarh, Chahat opted to shift to Punjab in 2017. She has won many medals at national and international competitions and also set several records. She represents Mohali in district meets and Punjab in state events.

While the city has more than 11 swimming pools across, it has not a single Olympic-size facility to train and nurture professional swimmers. The number of government pools here is higher in Chandigarh compared to any district of Punjab or Haryana. However, there’s no association affiliated to the national body to provide the local talent a platform to perform at the national level.

The swimming affairs in Chandigarh are run by an ad-hoc committee appointed by the Swimming Federation of India a long time ago. It is authorised to send teams for the national events.

Usually, sportspersons feel happy after winning gold medals. Chahat got emotional whenever she is asked about the reason for shifting to Punjab. “It’s been more than six years. Swimming affairs in Chandigarh are unchanged. The city has not produced even a single swimmer at the national or international level. The reason is well-known. There are no practice platforms, the officials (committee) are least bothered about conducting events and there’s no pool for professional swimmers. I miss representing Chandigarh,” said Chahat, who will also participate in the 100m breaststroke event in Odisha on Tuesday.

Earlier, she represented Panjab University, which has a 50m Olympic-size pool. However, the facility is functional only during summers and is allowed to be used (preference) by the swimmers of the university.

“The city like Chandigarh should host a number of tournaments for various age groups every month. The administration should set up gyms at swimming centres, which should be available throughout year,” added the swimmer, who is currently training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Delhi.

After the ongoing ranking meet, Chahat will participate in the Senior State Swimming Championship scheduled for September.

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