To take part in swim­ming tour­ney, they ride 6K kms

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Rajasthan - Aab­shar H Quazi aab­shar.quazi@hin­dus­tan­times.com

AGE NO BAR Cou­ple rode from Kota to Mysore, woman wins medals KOTA:An

el­derly cou­ple from Kota took a bike ride of over 6000 kms to par­tic­i­pate in an open na­tional swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion in Mysore in Kar­nataka, prov­ing that age is no bar. And the woman won three medals.

Anand Singh Shekhawat (59) and his wife Kr­ishna Shekhawat (58) – grand­par­ents of four kids from two sons – left Kota on their En­field on Oc­to­ber 26. Pass­ing through Rat­lam in Mad­hya Pradesh and Shirdi in Ma­ha­rash­tra, they reached Mysore on Oc­to­ber 30 to take part in the Na­tional Masters Cham­pi­onships, or­gan­ised by the Swim­ming Fed­er­a­tion of In­dia.

“We both par­tic­i­pated in the swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion in the 55-59 age group, in which Kr­ishna won three bronze medals in 100me­tre back­stroke, 200-me­tre freestyle and 400-me­tre freestyle,” Anand said. “I could not win a medal be­cause of stiff com­pe­ti­tion.”

Anand first par­tic­i­pated in in­ter-univer­sity swim­ming events, and later in open cham­pi­onships, in which he had won half a dozen medals. “I have also re­mained a swim­ming coach for the po­lice and CRPF in Kota.”

Kr­ishna said, “I was a swim­mer from a young age. I again took up swim­ming in Kota around 15 years ago when a new pool was opened in Kota on my hus­band’s ini­tia­tive.” She won a bronze medal in a swim­ming cham­pi­onship held in Bhopal in 2008.

“I have par­tic­i­pated in six swim­ming cham­pi­onships in the last nine years and won 17-18 medals,” said Kr­ishna, who is a di­a­betic and takes in­sulin in­jec­tions daily.

This is not the cou­ple’s first bike ex­pe­di­tion; they have been go­ing places on their bike for the last one decade for fun and ad­ven­ture. “I have a friend in Jaipur who pro­vides bikes on rent to for­eign­ers for vis­it­ing tourist places; this prompted me to un­der­take bike ex­pe­di­tions to see nat­u­ral places of In­dia from close prox­im­ity,” said Anand, who is in trans­port busi­ness.

“I and Kr­ishna first went to Vaishno Devi on our bike around a decade ago and later to Kullu Manali; we also went to Gul­barga, Bhopal and other places on our bike to par­tic­i­pate in swim­ming com­pe­ti­tions.”

Asked what mo­ti­vates them to go on bike ex­pe­di­tions at this age, Kr­ishna, a house­wife, said, “Swim­ming, reg­u­lar morn­ing walks and ex­er­cises keep us healthy, which is the key to our mo­ti­va­tion for bike ex­pe­di­tions.”

AH ZAIDI/HT PHOTO

Anand Singh Shekhawat and wife Kr­ishna.

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