SAI's Mission Olympic Cell approves swimmer Rawat's US training

During his time in the US, Rawat will also be participating in competitions to achieve the Olympic A cut for direct qualification.

Kushagra Rawat is confident that he will achieve an Olympic A cut.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SUDHAKARA JAIN

Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Mission Olympic Cell has approved swimmer Kushagra Rawat's three-month long training-cum competition stint in the USA.

Rawat is a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme's (TOPS) development group.

During his three-month stint in the USA, he will train with Dave Kelsheimer, who was the assistant open water swimming coach for the 2016 USA Olympic swimming team.

During his time in the US, Rawat will also be participating in competitions to achieve the Olympic A cut for direct qualification.

"I had trained under this coach in 2020 when I was in Australia. Some of the swimmers whom I trained with, have already achieved the Olympic A cut. I know the coach and his training patterns, which will be beneficial," Rawat said in a statement issued by the SAI.

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The freestyle swimmer has already made the Olympic B cut in three events -- 400m, 800m and 1500m.

Rawat is confident that with his stint in the USA, he will achieve an Olympic A cut. He was last week in Bengaluru training under renowned international sports scientist Genadijus Sokolovas, who was on a visit supported by TOPS.

"I learnt a lot about swimming techniques. After all the analysis, I am more aware of myself," Rawat said about his stint with Sokolovas.

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Kelsheimer is currently the head coach of Team Santa Monica, California and was the USA swimming coach at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.

He has trained a number of Olympians including Jordan Wilimovsky, who finished fourth in the 1500 metres and fifth in the 10000 metres open-water marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics.