The Rise of Indian Swimming Sensation Rudraksh Sahu

Indian swimmer Rudraksh Sahu has been lapping the competition, as he has his sights set on the Commonwealth Games.

Wade McElwain
Wade McElwain

Last Updated: 2024-02-15

Umaima Saeed

India is starting to make waves in the competitive swimming world thanks to talented young athletes like 21-year old freestyle swimmer Rudraksh Sahu. Sahu spoke with Wade McElwain from SportsBoom about his swimming journey and goals in a recent interview.

Training at an Elite Facility

Sahu highlighted the world-class training environment he has access to, saying "I'm training under Inspire Institute of Sports in India. It’s like a private company that takes care of us, like all of our nutrition, sports, everything." He went on to describe the facility as having "world class gym, world class, strength and conditioning, and then world class coaching for our swimming." This type of elite training center has been crucial for the development of swimming in India. As Sahu explained, "Because of facilities like this, they are actually providing us the world class training to grow up and to make India also comparable to other countries."

Setting Goals for Major Competitions

With top-notch training, Indian swimmers like Sahu now have their sights set on major international meets. "My major goal is 2026 Commonwealth Games after that Asian Games. And then of course 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles," stated Sahu. While he won't be competing in the 2024 Olympics, this year will still be an important stepping stone. As Sahu shared, "I have three competitions lined up before Olympics...I'm trying for the Commonwealth first time, like it is the first priority this time."

Looking Up to Swimming Heroes

When asked who he looks up to most in swimming, Sahu named Brazilian swimming legend Cesar Cielo as his biggest inspiration. As he explained, "I like his strokes. I like his technique actually. And I’ve seen some of his videos of him telling his experience and about how he would’ve been through his journey, the improvements, the downs and the ups. So that guy motivates me also. And I follow his techniques also. That’s why he motivates me a lot."

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Swimming in India Still Developing

While India has made major strides in swimming, Sahu acknowledges there is still progress to be made. "If you see, a couple of decades back, China is not so much into swimming, but suddenly we see a growth. I believe there are academies like this only which have helped them to come to where they are today," he commented. With more world-class facilities and dedicated athletes like Sahu, India aims to become a swimming powerhouse.

Sahu's story shows how access to quality coaching and training resources can lift up athletes from non-traditional swimming countries like India. His rapid improvement also demonstrates the rewards of setting clear competition benchmarks on the road to the Olympics. With a burgeoning support system growing for Indian athletes, the ceiling of potential for athletes is limitless.  If Sahu reaches his goal of competing in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, he will open the door for future generations of Indian swimmers.
 And we certainly hope he does. 

Wade McElwain
Wade McElwainSenior Sports Writer

Wade McElwain is our Mr. NFL, a bona fide North American sports nut who knows about NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA plus MMA boxing and more. Originally from Canada, Wade is also an international award-winning stand-up comedian; host of numerous TV game shows; and a TV producer & writer. He also runs NFL in London-the largest NFL fan group in Europe, and has hosted NFL events at Wembley and around the world. Yes, he lives alone and does nothing but watch sports.