This Bengalurean won three golds at the recent South Africa National Swimming Championships 2022

14-year-old swimmer Ridhima Veerendra Kumar, who bagged three golds at the South Africa National Swimming Championships 2022, on the big win...

author_img Monika Monalisa Published :  12th May 2022 12:16 AM   |   Published :   |  12th May 2022 12:16 AM
Ridhima Veerendra Kumar

Ridhima Veerendra Kumar

As a sportsperson, irrespective of age, no emotion comes close to the joy of winning a gold for the country. 14-year-old swimmer Ridhima Veerendra Kumar, is no different. Kumar, bagged three golds at the South Africa National Swimming Championships 2022, with athletes from the world taking part in the event. 

The teen from Bengaluru grabbed medals in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and the 800m freestyle events. “It’s a whole different experience competing in another country. We got to train with South African coaches and their swimmers too,” says Kumar. 

Of late, swimming as a sport has been getting a lot of attention as Vedaant Madhavan, son of actor R Madhavan, recently won gold in the men’s 800m freestyle at the Danish Open in Copenhagen. Kumar is quite happy with the positive attention the sport is getting. “Not just me, even seniors are doing pretty well too,” says the student of Delhi Public School, South, who trains at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre.

The medals and glory don’t come without a disciplined lifestyle and Kumar cannot emphasise its importance. Her day starts at 4.30 am and she is in the pool by 5 am. “I train in the mornings between 5.30 am and 8.30 am and evenings at the same time. In between, I have school and the gym to balance,” says Kumar, who takes care of her nutritional needs with home-cooked meals.

Kumar still remembers how she was deeply driven to try swimming at the age of five. “My brother used to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI). While he was training, my mother and I were once taking a walk near the pool. As soon as I saw water, I wanted to give it a try. There was this instant connection,” recalls Kumar. 

With so much limelight, Kumar is quite secure about how her friends treat her and glad that nothing has changed. “My friends don’t judge me on my achievements,” says Kumar, who feels she still has a long way to go.