Per­fect strokes

RAHUL CHOK­SHI, 17, Swim­mer

India Today - - SIMPLY GUJARATI -

Though this Ahmed­abad boy is an ex­tremely shy per­son, Rahul Chok­shi trans­forms into an ag­gres­sive swim­mer once he dives into the pool. This national level swim­mer’s mother made him at­tend swim­ming classes to help build im­mu­nity, never dream­ing that he would some­day win 32 national medals for it.

THE HARD WORK Chok­shi who spe­cialises in but­ter­fly says his school, Ahmed­abad In­ter­na­tional School is a great pil­lar of sup­port as the teach­ers help him cope with the class 12 syl­labus while he par­tic­i­pates in tour­na­ments. His day be­gins at 5 am and his train­ing takes up six hours in a day. So he doesn’t have time to hang out with friends like most teenagers do. “I love to gorge on piz­zas but I have to has to stick to a strict diet,” he says. But the reclu­sive sportsper­son doesn’t mind any of it. It is the love of swim­ming that keeps him tick­ing.

THE ACHIEVE­MENTS Be­sides hav­ing won the state group cham­pi­onship for nine con­sec­u­tive years, his ex­per­tise has won him 124 medals in statelevel cham­pi­onships. His team also won a sil­ver medal in The 54th Malaysian open swim­ming cham­pi­onship 2011 (freestyle re­lay). Apart from the 39 state records in Un­der-17 and Un­der-19 cat­e­gories held by him, he has also been ad­judged the best swim­mer in the 38th Gu­jarat state ju­nior aquat­ics cham­pi­onships in 2011. Chok­shi also won the Sar­dar Pa­tel ju­nior award for ex­cel­lence in sports by the Gu­jarat govern­ment in 2004 when he was 10 and the Ra­jya Ra­matveer award for two con­sec­u­tive years in 2006 and 2007. Con­tact: 09898088003

“I am pas­sion­ate about swim­ming. When I com­pete, it is about win­ning.”

sec­ond opinion

“He is the fu­ture hope of Gu­jarat as well as In­dia to bring lau­rels to us in­ter­na­tion­ally. He just needs to be this con

sis­tent through­out. ” VIRENDRA NANA­VATI, VICE PRES­I­DENT, IN­DIAN OLYMPICS AS­SO­CI­A­TION AND FORMER SEC­RE­TARY OF SWIM­MING

FED­ER­A­TION OF IN­DIA

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