Mumbai-based sub-junior national champion swimmer Kapil Shetty has just returned from the the gulf with a bagful of medals. The 11-year-old won one gold, three silvers and one bronze in the U-11 category at the recently concluded Dubai International Aquatic Championship.
Kapil Shetty during training at a pool in Goregaon. Pic/Rane Ashish
He stood first in 50m backstroke event, won second place in the 50m free style, 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke events before rounding off his tally with a bronze in the 200m individual medley.
A Class VI student of the VIBGYOR High (Goregaon) Kapil is currently the fastest backstroke swimmer in his age group in the country, having won three gold, one silver and one bronze at the 31st sub-junior nationals held in Indore last year. He aims to be the best in the world some day.
Besides training under Arjuna Award-winning coach Smita Divgikar at the Ozone Swimming Academy in Goregaon, Kapil keenly watches videos of swimming greats to improve on his performance. "Watching videos of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have helped me a lot. Backstroke is Lochte's favourite event and mine too," Kapil told mid-day.
The youngster took to water during a summer camp as a four-year-old, but began participating in competitive events only two years later, December 2009.
"When I began swimming at the Goregaon Sports Club at the age of four, I remember I just hated having to come out of the pool after the session. That's how much I love water," he recollected.
Kapil's coach Divgikar says her ward has it in him to be a world-beater. "Kapil has always been the leader in his age category. He is hard working, takes up challenges, dedicated and very focused." said Divgikar.