Water baby on a roll

Virdhawal Vikram Khade is the youngest swimmer in India to qualify for the Olympics and make a mark in the Indian sports history by winning Bronze medal in the 50m butterfly category after 24 years in the 2010 Asian games. MiD DAY caught up with Virdhawal in the midst of his preparations for London Olympics in 2012

You are a young successful swimmer. How many hours a day do you train?
I swim for five to six hours a day: two and half hours in the morning and two and a half hours in the evening. I also work out in the gym for two hours everyday.

Is it too much of a pressure being such a young achiever?
I have been pressurised by my parents since my childhood. My father wanted me to achieve something big and I have been practicing since I was five. I tried to make him happy.

What is your next goal?
I want to qualify for the Olympics 200m and 50m freestyle and better my last performance.

What do you do when you are not practicing?
I generally take rest. A lot of rest is required after all the physical exercise I do throughout the day.

You are a supporter of Pratham Books and participate in their efforts to popularising reading. Do you like reading?
I don't read, although I believe people should indulge in reading, I don't get much time to read.

Do you party?
I don't.

You recently walked the ramp as a showstopper for a city fashion show. Do you like fashion? Are you brand conscious?
I like shopping and I enjoy fashion. I am not too much of a brand person.

Why are you so low profile and media shy?
I am not media shy. I don't walk up to the media but if they want to talk to me, I am always available.

Do you have a girlfriend?
Yes, I do for the last three years. Her name is Tanvi and she is in college.

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