Kushagra Rawat achieves ‘B’ cut for Tokyo Olympics

The Indian swimmer clocks 08.07.99 in the 800m freestyle category at the Speedo Thailand Age Group Championships in Bangkok.

Kushagra Rawat has made the ‘B’ time standard for the men's 800m freestyle and 400m freestyle categories for the Worl Championships. Photo: Twitter (@kheloindia)

Kushagra Rawat has made the ‘B’ time standard for the FINA World Championships in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 by clocking 08.07.99 in the 800m freestyle category at the Speedo Thailand Age Group Championships in Bangkok.

The timing for ‘B’ time standard for the men’s 800m freestyle for the World Championship in 08:10.91. For the Olympics, it is 08:08.54.

The Indian also made the ‘B’ standard for the 400m freestyle event, for the World Championships. The qualifying time is 03.56.14, and Rawat clocked 03:56.10.

At the World Championships, one swimmer with a ‘B’ time standard can qualify for individual events provided no swimmer achieves the A-time standard in that event, if that swimmer has clocked the fastest ‘B’ time standard.

Rawat trains at the SAI Glenmark TIDM programme — based out of the Dr SPM Swimming Complex here. Reacting to his achievement, he said, “Your aim must be high. Do your efforts accordingly, [and] you will get your goal nearby.”

Partha Pratim Majumder, the SGTIDM head coach, praised Rawat. He said, “We developed specific long-term programmes for him to ensure steady progression and motivated him and his family regularly. Our Coaching staff constantly monitored him and ensured he remains focussed. We thank SAI and GAF for all the support.”

‘Promising future’

According to Carles Subirana, the programme’s technical director, Rawat said, “[Rawat’s] sports career begins now. He has a very promising future. He is a very disciplined and fighter swimmer, essential qualities in a good sportsman. Now we will raise the bar a little higher so that he can start to enjoy elite international swimming.”

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The SGTIDM programme was set up in 2016. The Sports Authority of India and Glenmark Aquatic Foundation had partnered with a vision to develop Indian swimmers for podium finishes at global aquatic meets.

Rawat joined the academy in 2016; then, his best time in the 800m freestyle event was 08:49.24. Now, he is the fastest in India.