Back in July 2020, we wrote about how the FINA Scholarships Programme was helping aspiring Olympian swimmers plan their training during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Head Coach Miguel Lopez and Strength and Conditioning coach Mark Mariani designed dryland sessions to ensure the swimmers maintained their regular routine of 10 sessions a week, with 2 hours per session. The focus was mainly on cardiovascular exercises, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility training. We focused in particular on three swimmers, and we're excited to report that all three have now qualified for the Tokyo Olympics later this year!
Mumu Henitsoa will be representing Madagascar in the Women's 400m Freestyle event at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. She received the universality invitation from FINA as she was the highest-ranked in the Malagasy ranking system. Her Federation made the decision to nominate her name back in October 2020 so she has been training with the Olympics in mind since then. While she hasn't had too many opportunities to compete since March 2020, they have incorporated many time trials as part of the training program, and she feels the extra year has given her the added time to be faster than she was last year. When asked about her goals for the Olympics, Mumu said "My goal is to enjoy the moment and break my National Record. I want to swim as fast as I can to honor everyone participating in my preparation for the Olympics."
Tasi Limtiaco will be representing the Federated States of Micronesia at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in the Men's 200m Breaststroke event. He received a universality invitation from FINA, which allows a country to send the top-ranked swimmers (one per gender) based on the FINA Points System as of June 28, 2021.
Sajan Prakash became the first Indian swimmer to achieve the Olympic Qualification Time (OQT) or 'A' Qualifying Time Standard set by FINA. He will be representing India in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the Men's 200m Butterfly event. This qualification makes Sajan a 2-time Olympian as he competed in the same event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sajan's achievement is very impressive as he's coming off a career-threatening injury and was quoted in a recent interview published by The Quint, "When I saw the time on the board, I instantly felt relieved. I felt lighter on my shoulders. I had come a long way, braved many struggles to achieve this mark." He hopes to further improve on his timing to make the semi-finals in this event at Tokyo.
Svexa wishes Mumu, Tasi and Sajan the best of luck at the Olympics!
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