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Battling against torrid currents

It is a discipline which has never fetched India any medal in the Commonwealth Games and the swimmers are not exactly expected to create a splash even this time around with a dope slur and concerns about the venue's preparedness adding to their woes ahead of the event.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2010 00:58 IST

It is a discipline which has never fetched India any medal in the Commonwealth Games and the swimmers are not exactly expected to create a splash even this time around with a dope slur and concerns about the venue's preparedness adding to their woes ahead of the event.

Indian swimmers have never created much of a buzz at the Commonwealth level given the competition in the pool features powerhouses such as Australia, Canada and England among others.

Australia are expected to rule the pool even this time.

Home advantage could have been factored in India's favour but the swimmers have hardly got a feel of the still under-preparation Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Complex.

Swimming Federation of India (SFI) Secretary General Virender Nanavati says there is nothing like home advantage for the locals.

“What home advantage? Please don't talk about any home advantage,” said Nanavati.

The Indian swimmers have only begun to get a hang of the Complex in a camp that got underway a couple of days ago. And this was because of delay in construction of the venue. As if the delays were not enough, the Indian swimming contingent suffered another major setback when three swimmers, two of whom part of the Commonwealth Games squad —Richa Mishra and Jyotsana Pansare, tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) this year.

Nanavati, however, emphasised that Richa, an eight-time national champion, had never been a medal-prospect for the country.

“In any case, we never considered Richa Mishra and Jyotsana Pansare as medal prospects for India in the Commonwealth Games as in the past also they could never do well for the country. So, losing them is not exactly a concern,” he said.