New Delhi: Srihari Nataraj, who holds the national record in 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke has said that the Khelo India Youth Games is a good initiative to spot talent. Nataraj has participated in the first two editions of the competition and is currently preparing for the third edition, which will be held in Guwahati from January 10 to 22.
“The Khelo India Games is a really good initiative taken by the government. It’s given a chance to all the athletes to take part in one more event. And the tournament gets a lot of media attention, so the athletes get a lot of media publicity. The Khelo India Games is a confidence booster for me. It’s a good initiative to spot talent,” said Nataraj.
The swimmer, who started swimming at the age of two, won six gold and one silver in the first edition and seven gold in the second edition. He participated in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games last year.
“I started swimming at the age of two. My mother took me to the swimming pool where my elder brother used to swim. That’s how I started swimming. I took part in my first international tournament at the age of 14. It feels good to be one of the top swimmers in the country. It’s something that I have been working for. I don’t really think about it a lot, but it’s something that I am happy about,” said Nataraj.
The 18-year-old added that his immediate aim is to book a berth in the Tokyo Olympics. Nataraj’s biggest goal is to win a medal at the 2024 Olympics.