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Teen prodigy eyes Olympics

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 14:48 IST

Thirteen-year-old swimming prodigy Aditya Raut, who became the youngest to successfully complete channel swimming in five continents, has now set his sight on Olympic glory.

With the 10 km open water sea swimming being introduced from the 2008 Olympic games, the Pune lad is concentrating on the event so that he can win laurels for the country.

His coach Vinay Marathe said on Tuesday that for the 2008 Olympics, the world body will be allowing only 25 participants for the race. They will start their selections with qualifiers from next year, and the first one would be held in Australia.

 Smart box
Making waves

Aditya Raut is a Class VIII

student of Vikhe Patil

Memorial School in Pune

The Cook Strait Channel swim in New Zealand was the

hardest for Aditya

The coach also added that now this race has got Olympic recognition, the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) will have to hold their own qualifiers to select a swimmer to take part in the world qualifiers. About the way he entered swimming, Aditya said, it was a sheer accident that he took up swimming.

"I had an accident when I was around six years of age which damaged my right thigh muscle. The doctors then advised me to take up swimming which would help in the recovery process." Aditya has so far completed long distance channel swimming in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and Ocenia.