Goa’s Xavier D’Souza needs 3.53 seconds to equal the national swimming 100 meters freestyle record and is convinced he will be able to do so during the senior Swimming National to be held in September. “I will finish my race in less than 50 seconds. I know I can do it and will do,” Xavier told The Navhind Times.
Success comes in waves and Xavier D’souza from Vagator is poised to set a benchmark after clocking 53 seconds in the 100 meters free style in Pune in 2017. At 17 he has still a lot in him and through the assistance he is receiving from Glenmark, is bound to bag more headlines.
Xavier opted for swimming as his mother found him not interested in other sports. “ I tried different sports and as I was showing no interest in any , so my mother decided to send me for a swimming camp in Campal. Though I am from Vagator , I never went to the beach much. But, the camp changed my perception about swimming,” recalls Xavier.
Xavier started swimming under Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) coach Thomas Jose and won his first National medal in 2014 during the School National in Balewadi, Pune where he won his first silver medal. “ I did win a few junior competitions but my big break came when I was selected by Glenmark and sent to Mumbai for training,” admits Xavier.
Xavier now dedicates his life to swimming. He is doing his higher secondary through Open University and practices for about five hours a day under the supervision of a foreign coach and the national coach of India.
“My timings have been improving and are getting better on long distance races. I have had a lot more opportunities to participate in international events and that is giving me the confidence of equaling Virdhawal Khade’s record,” promises Xavier. Khade holds the Indian 100 meters freestyle record.
“During international events you know where you stand in the international field. During competitions in India one is separated from opponents in seconds but abroad races a finished split seconds from each other. The competition is intense and that intensity is achieved only through hard work during training,” confesses Xavier.
Xavier has set his eyes on the 2020 Olympics. “ I am going to better my 53 second record in September but my ultimate aim is to sparkle during the 2020 Olympics. I will surely set the mark to qualify for the Olympics. My confidence comes from the coaching I am receiving now,” states Xavier.
“Every time I finish a race, I think I can still do better. I am never satisfied with my result. I work on my short falls during training and I believe that only practice can make me perfect,” reasons Xavier.
Xavier has participated in international swimming events in Bangkok, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan and has won silver and bronze medals. He does the 50 and 100 meters freestyle, back stroke and butterfly but thinks he is best in the 100 meters freestyle. “I have no favourite stroke but have done best in free style,” avers Xavier.
Xavier won the gold in the 50 meters butterfly stroke during the recently concluded junior Nationals in June. “I am going to break the record set by Khade in September. I may look just three seconds away from the record but those three seconds are like miles but I trust myself,” confessed Xavier.