The swimmer clinched four gold medals and a Silver in the ongoing tournament.

An 18-year-old swimmer from Goa – Shrungi Bandekar emerged as one of the biggest stars in the swimming meet at the Khelo India University Games 2021. After winning four Golds in 200m Individual Medley, 50m Back Stroke, 100m Back Stroke and 200m Back Stroke and a Silver in 400m Individual Medley, Bandekar hopes to gain recognition for her efforts.

She said, “The medals that I have won here will help me gain recognition. The results here may also help me attain selection for international meets. The Khelo India University Games 2021 has been organized pretty well this year. Our accommodation and food were good.” 

Plenty of chances but no finished product

Shrungi Bandekar, who has won over 30 medals in National competitions (age group and Senior events), is looking to compete in international events this year, “I was supposed to go for an international meet as well, but I couldn’t go because of Covid-19. After this competition, I am trying to go for an international meet so that I can win Medals in international tournaments as well.”

The 18-year-old has also received advice from Olympian Srihari Nataraj, “He is from my college itself and a good friend of mine. He is a good motivator for me. I look up to him. He tells me to train hard and be very sharp & confident. He has also told me that I will have to make sacrifices to get what I want.”

When asked how her tryst with swimming began, she said, “My brother used to swim so looking at him, even I got interested in taking up swimming. Later on, swimming became a fun activity for me so I started taking it seriously. After doing well in the Nationals, I continued working hard. Recently, I moved to Bengaluru to up my game.”

Being in the first year of college, the swimmer swiftly oscillates between academics and training, “I am currently studying B.Com at Jain University. I am in the first year. I try to attend classes as much as I can. At times I get really tired as I practice swimming regularly. But the teachers have allowed me to take breaks if I am extremely tired. And they also help me with notes in case I miss classes. And if I have to miss exams for competitions, then the teachers reschedule the exams for me.”

Looking up to the feats of Michael Phelps, Bandekar also wants to win a medal for her country, “I want to win a medal for India one day. I am training for it. That’s the biggest goal at the moment. Just because the Indian swimmers haven’t done it in the past, that doesn’t mean that no one else can. I want to stay positive and look to give my best and keep doing how much I can.”

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