Swimmer Rehan Poncha of Bangalore was among the last Indian athletes to qualify for this edition of the Olympics, so naturally it’s a reason to celebrate for the 22-year-old.
However, Poncha who was adjudged the best swimmer at the National Aquatics last year harbours no illusions to the competition that awaits him in the 200m butterfly event at Beijing. Coached by Pradeep Kumar, Poncha trains at the Basvanagudi Aquatic Centre and his qualification can be attributed to sheer determination.
“I know the tag Olympian is a big deal. It means a lot to me too. But I'm looking at it as one step on the ladder to excellence. Beijing will be an inspiration for me to do better in the next editions of the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
The 2012 London Olympics too is in my radar,” said Rehan after his qualification. Rehan who leaves from Beijing on August 3, will take to the pool on August 11.
With little time left, Poncha is working with his coach on sharpening his start, turn and underwater power.