Post-Kazan ‘FINA Targeting RIO 2016-Scholarships Programme’ report reveals encouraging progress

Development News

Participants taking part in the ‘FINA Targeting RIO 2016-Scholarships Programme’, launched in May 2015, had the opportunity to compete at the 16th edition of the FINA World Championships, hold in Kazan, Russia from July 24-August 9, 2015.

In depth post-Kazan report reveals results and progresses made by the young swimmers training at Thanyapura centre, in Phuket, Thailand, since May 2015. This group of young athletes coming from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand  has been selected to benefit from a new scholarship programme providing high-level training facilities and on-going support to prepare for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Initial feedback shows that individual and adapted workouts for each swimmer and video analysing systems proved extremely efficient and useful at the World Championships.

Regular performance measurement testing strength, power and muscular resistance were on the daily training programme for the aspiring young talents.

Training session in Phuket, Thailand  ©Thanyapura

Detailed reports focus on each swimmer’s performances in Kazan where first encouraging results were already witnessed.

Sri Lanka’s Kimiko Raheem broke a national record in the 200m backstroke in 2:21.18 She also swam her best time in two years on the 100m backstroke (1:05.40) and helped establish two national records in the 4x100 free and 4x100 individual medley for Sri Lanka. Hope is that Raheem reaches B-standard for Rio 216.


Nepal’s Shirish Gurung, who hadn’t had the opportunity to train at home due to the recent dramatic earthquake, showed steady progress in Kazan. Gurung established a Nepalese national record in the 100m free and the 50m was his second best time ever.

Also from Nepal, Sofia Gadegaard Shah, 17, broke two national records in both the 50m and 200m free and improved her time in the 200m free of 8 seconds. Kazan 2015 provided a great momentum for her which kept her motivated and helped her identify relevant short term goals.

Bangladesh’s Rahman Mohammed Mahifizur was one of the scholarship holders who really stood out in Kazan by realising outstanding performances and almost reaching his personal best.

Sajan Prakash from India was undeniably the most talented swimmer in this group. Report explained that he showed enormous progress largely noticeable at the FINA World Championships. Prakash swam a new PB, a national record as well as a B-qualifying time in Kazan.

Swimmers feedback expressed their general satisfaction about the coaching and training programme. They all underlined that the daily exercises gave them confidence in their swim and that they helped them improving their swimming skills.


FINA launched the ‘Targeting RIO 2016 – scholarship programme’ earlier this year as a result of a partnership agreement between FINA, the Olympic Solidarity, the Olympic Council of Asia (OAC) and the state-of-the-art Thanyapura Centre.

The young swimmers and their coaches will next meet on September 19 in Thanyapura to plan the rest-of-the-year programme.

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