While children his age go about learning how to swim, Ethan Sequeira is already creating a splash in the pool. The six-year-old won four gold medals in the under-6 category at the recently concluded Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (GMAAA) senior and lower age group aquatic meet at Tata Swimming Pool, Chembur.
He stood first in the 25-metre breaststroke, 25-metre freestyle, 25-metre backstroke and 25-metre butterfly. What’s more, he even created two new meet records in backstroke and breaststroke.
“He worked really hard for this particular event. He used to practice for two hours under coach Tapan Barik and later in the evening, he trained under Tanaji (Patil) sir at the Ozone Swimming Pool. Within a month-and-a-half of training, he has surpassed our expectations,” said Ethan’s father Prem.
Ethan meanwhile, has set his eyes on improving his skills. “I met Rehan Poncha (Olympian swimmer) at the event and he gave me two tips for success — ‘listen to your coach’ and ‘work hard’. I am trying to follow his advice. I want to work hard and equal his timings as I grow up,” said the little champion.
He is too young to analyse the performances of swimming greats, but nevertheless has watched a lot of their videos. “Watching Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have helped me a lot,” said the Class II student of the VIBGYOR High, Goregaon.
The Malad resident, who has been participating in competitive events since October 2011, added that it was sibling rivalry that motivated him to take up swimming. “My sister Megan always used to win medals in spelling competitions and that inspired me to do well too.
Now that I have won so many medals, I feel really nice,” Ethan said. His coach Tanaji Patil has every reason to be proud of his ward. “He is only six, but his swimming standards are equivalent to that of an under-8 or an under-9 kid. We will go back to his earlier, four-hour routine for the forthcoming ICSE School’s championships,” said Patil.