Swimming is the most important part of my life. I have been swimming for 15 years, says Siva S. He recently won two gold medals in the 400 meters individual medley, and 4X200 metres free style relay, and a silver for 200 metre individual medley at the recently held XIII South Asian Games at Kathmandu, Nepal in December 2019. I grew up in Coimbatore and learnt to swim from the Perks Sports Academy. I was a hyperactive kid and my parents wanted to channelise my energy and introduced me into sports, says the 19-year-old. He trained under coach Haridas and, by the time he was five, could do the butterfly stroke, back stroke, breast stroke and free style.
I was six when I participated in my first competition in Chennai. I did not win and was a bit sad but I continued my practice and won three gold and an individual competition at my next competition at Jenneys Club, he says. On the suggestion of his coach, he moved to Bengaluru in 2007 for better professional training.
Siva prepared well for the South Asian Games, he says. I focused on my speed and I am glad that it worked. I was able to set a record for the best Indian performance in South Asian Games for the 200 metre individual medley for my time 2:02:42. It was tough, he recalls. It was very cold and the competition was strong. Luckily, it was a temperature controlled pool. I met Olympian Matthew Abeysinghe from Sri Lanka and he shared details about his workout with me.
Siva is an under-graduate student from Jain University, Bengaluru. I have to juggle between my studies and workout. It is hard, but I try my best. He practises for six hours every day for five days a week under his coach Padmanabh Rao. Consistency in practice and self motivation are two important things to be a good swimmer. My training is intense and includes swimming and gym sessions. I swim 60 km a week. Weight training strengthens my muscles and gives me endurance, he says. Siva also enjoys playing football and basketball. But, that is only for fun. His dream is to win a medal for the country in the Olympics. The recent success has boosted my confidence. I am now preparing for the Olympics qualifications that will be held in April at Singapore. I hope I can make it.