“I want to stand on the Olympic podium”
Karan K Raju, One of India’s Youngest Medal Prospects At The Commonwealth Youth Games, Talks About His Coach, Goals And More In An Interview With JSW Sports…
It all started when he was eight years old. Faced with a tough decision, Karan K Raju had to pick between swimming and skating. Having an elder brother in one made him choose the other. Since then, the Bangalore-born boy has been creating ripples on the international front. “I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t picked swimming. When I’m in the pool, it feels like home. In water, I believe I am the best version of me.”
Now 17, Karan’s parents compliment his enthusiasm for the sport, as they have done everything they can to support him in his pursuit of international glory. Training in South Africa with other JSW Sports-supported swimmers, Karan wishes he could have his parents with him all the time, as he attributes all his motivation and success to them.
But, miles away from home, he states that he feels safe in the hands of his coach Graham Hill. “Coach Graham is like my guardian. He knows what’s best for me and pushes me to the limit. There has never been a moment when he shows disappointment when we have a bad race, he always tells us we had a decent run and motivates us to do better next time.”
When questioned about his most memorable performance, Karan, with a smile on his face, recalls the KZN Championships in 2015. Coming into the 200m butterfly event as the fourth seed, the swimmer achieved his personal best time of 2 minutes and 10 seconds, finishing second. “I couldn’t believe the result myself; it only sunk in when I heard my name called out in the ceremony.”
With his 2017's goal of making it to the Commonwealth Youth Games ticked already, Karan has set a new target of achieving a timing worthy of the top five in the 200m butterfly event. With the progress he has made in the current year, we can be sure that he will achieve his life-long dream of making it to the Olympic podium soon.
“I must credit JSW Sports. They are one of the biggest reasons I am where I am and the support they have given me is beyond compare. They have provided me with the best coaches and helped me in taking difficult decisions, with my best interests in mind. With them I am confident that I can achieve my dream of standing on the Olympic podium,” commented the swimmer, who continues his preparations for the Commonwealth Youth Games in July.