CHENNAI: Delay in reopening pools and the onset of winter have forced the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) to change their plans to conduct competitions.
The national body is looking at next year's April-June window to start the domestic season, beginning with age-group championships, reports New Indian Express.
Swimmers were allowed to resume training from October 15. While states such as Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra have reopened pools for competitive swimmers, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are apprehensive, fearing a second wave of coronavirus.
"In all probability, the competition calendar would be post March only," Monal Choksi, SFI's secretary general, told the daily.
The gap between national and state championships is not more than 30 days. However, given that Tokyo Olympic qualification ends on June 27, SFI might bring forward the season to accommodate nationals before the Tokyo Games in July end
"Swimmers need at least three months of training before taking part in state-level competitions. Considering that 2021 is an Olympic year, we might tweak the calendar and host the junior nationals early once we know that all states are back to training," added Choksi.
The federation recently revealed that its mulling sending elite swimmers for a foreign camp after January, with focus on sports science assessment. It is understood that SFI is considering high-performance facilities in South Africa for the specialised training.