An Indian swimmer will be on Olympic podium in 2028: Rice

Updated: Sep 25, 2019, 07:55 IST | Ronald Chettiar |

The five-time world record-holder, who is in the country to initiate the Stephanie Rice Swimming Academy (SRSA), said that India's swimmers have the potential to excel, but lack top training facilities

Stephanie Rice. Pic/Ashish Raje
Stephanie Rice. Pic/Ashish Raje

Australia's triple Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Stephanie Rice, 31, is confident that an Indian swimmer can finish on the podium at the 2028 Olympics. The five-time world record-holder, who is in the country to initiate the Stephanie Rice Swimming Academy (SRSA), said that India's swimmers have the potential to excel, but lack top training facilities.

"The two sports that offer the most chances of winning an Olympic medal, are swimming and athletics, and the former is untouched in India. There is huge talent and potential here and with elite level focus and high performance training, in the next four to eight years, I will be able to get an Indian swimmer on the [Olympic] podium," Rice told mid-day yesterday.

"I want to start an academy from which 30 to 40 swimmers can go to the Olympics. And say, even if three of them get a medal, it would have an incredible impact," added Rice, who bagged gold in the 200m and 400m individual medley and 4×200m freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Rice has an elaborate plan for both junior and senior segments. "Most of the top Indian swimmers don't train in India; they train in Thailand or USA. And there will be just two or three swimmers, who will have the finances to get that kind of opportunity. I want to create a hub here in India for everybody to be able to train at a very high level. I want to initiate a junior and senior squad," said Rice, who retired from competitive swimming in 2014.

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