(Last Updated on : 21-07-2014)
The game of Swimming is very much well known and popular among the people of India. The people of all the classes and divisions of the Indian society do swim a lot whenever they get some leisure time. This is the main reason why all the people of India always keep an eye on what is happening in the swimming arena and also on the performances of the swimmers of India. For this very great popularity of the game, the swimmers of India have always been under tremendous pressure whenever they perform in any kind of national or international championship. However, in spite of being under such a huge pressure, the swimmers of India have been performing quite well in various competitions and hence they have also been getting the "Arjuna Award
" quite regularly.
Like most of the other sportspersons in India, the swimmers also started to enter their names in the winners' list of the prestigious "Arjuna Award" from the year of 1961 when the award was incepted for the first time. In 1961, the first winner of the award on behalf of the swimmers was Jam. Bajarangi Prasad and he was followed by Rima Datta who won it in the year of 1966 after the swimmers spent 4 years as winner less. In 1967, Arun Shaw won the award and Baidyanath Nath won it in the year of 1969. Then after a year's gap, Bhanwar Singh got the award in 1971 and it went to the name of D. (Tingoo) Khatau in the year of 1973. After the year of 1973, the following two years saw the double winners in the "Arjuna Award" from the field of Swimming. In 1974, the joint winners were A.B. Sarang and Manjari Bhargava. The later one won the award for Diving. There were two winners in the year of 1975 as well in the names of M.S. Rana and MS. Smita Desai.
After spending two very successful years with two winners each, there was a gap of about 7 years in the field of Swimming as far as winning the "Arjuna Award" is concerned and in the year of 1982, Persis Madan broke the dead lock and won it back. After this success, there was again a little continuous streak for the swimmers when Anita Sood and Khajan Singh won the award in the years of 1983 and 1984 respectively. Then in 1988, Wilson Cherian won it and the award was named after the very famous women swimmer Bula Choudhury in the year of 1990. Then again, there was a gap of 6 years when the swimmers could not win an "Arjuna Award". This winner less period of the swimmers was over when V. Kutraleeshwaran got the award in the year of 1996. In 1998 and 1999, the swimmers who won the award were named as Bhanu Sachdeva and MS. Nisha Millet respectively. There was again a double win for the swimmers of India in the year of 2000 when both Sebastian Xavier and J. Abhijith became the winner of this award. So far the last sportsperson to win an "Arjuna Award" as a swimmer is named as Ms. Shikha Tandon who got the success in the year of 2005.
So, it is very much evident from the discussion above that, in spite of having enormous pressure and tension, the Indian swimmers have been successful so far and it seems like that there is no reason of being tensed about the next generation of swimmers in India till now.
||Jam. Bajarangi Prasad
||D. (Tingoo) Khatau
||A.B. Sarang, Manjari Bhargava (diving)
||M.S. Rana, Smita Desai
||Sebastian Xavier, J. Abhijith