Meet Shivani Kataria, the fastest 200m swimmer in the country. The Gurugram-born swimmer is already making waves in Indian waters with her significant success at the age of twenty one. In a chat with Sportz Business, she speaks about her journey, passion and what keeps her going in the water.
When did your interest in swimming develop?
When i was 6 years old i use to go for swimming in summer camp near my house. Slowly i developed interest in swimming and wanted to compete at district level.
Which tournament has been the most challenging to you as a swimmer till date?
My race at Rio Olympics 2016 in 200m freestyle. I had to keep the calm which i wasn’t able to as it was a really big stage and my race didn’t go according to the plan.
Besides, swimming what other hobbies you have?
I love to cook , listen to music or go for a walk .
You have earned significant success in swimming. Did it help you to draw sponsors?
Before making to the Olympics i was struggling to get sponsorships. But after participating in Olympics and getting best Indian female swimmer trophy in 2017 did help me to get ViratKohli foundation sponsorship. Which i am very thankful to ViratKohli and the team.
Which are the swimmers you look up to?
As a kid i have always been looking up to Michael Phelps. Katie ledecky and Missy Franklin are also the swimmers i look up to.
Besides free-style, have you ever thought of other genres of swimming? Would you consider long-distance in future?
I swim 50m and 100m butterfly in various nationals and international meet. Definitely i will do some long distance events in future.
What food items are most likely to be found in your daily diet?
Dal, Rice, Banana, Roti & Potatoes.
What is the next championship you are preparing for?
I am training for senior nationals which will be held from 31st aug to 4th sep 2019.
What would be your advice to the young aspirants who want to take this sport as a profession in future?
Just enjoy the process and have fun . Challenge yourself in water each day and you will see the results.
Which was the most ecstatic moment of your career?
When I gave Indian best in 200 m freestyle was the happiest moment of my life.
Would you say the support-system for swimmers in this country is sufficient?
Only when a swimmer get a medal at international level he /she gets some support. Few years back we didn’t have schemes like Khelo India or TOP. We did struggle to get where we are today. Government gives us sports quota in colleges and job but they don’t truely support once we get in.
What does your daily fitness regime looks like ?
- 2 hours of training in the morning
- Dry land in the afternoon (4 sessions in a week)
- 2 hours of training in the evening
- I train 10 sessions a week