As many as 58 international and national level medals, including 32 gold and 20 silver were claimed by athletes in Swimming, Sailing, Squash, Golf and Tennis last year under an athlete development programme "Stars of Tomorrow".
The top 7 athletes were Aryan Goveas (Tennis), Yash Fadte (Squash), Pranavi Urs (Golf), Suvana C Baskar, Khushi Dinesh & Advait Page (all in Swimming) and Nethra Kumaran (Sailing).
The development programme supported by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), India's first self-regulated industry body dedicated to protecting consumer interests and maintaining high operating standards in the Indian Fantasy Sports industry, was launched in December 2018. The 3-year programme aimed to identify and support India’s future sporting talent in diverse sports such as sailing, squash, tennis, swimming, golf.
The 13 athletes selected, out of the 168 entries, under the programme are given critical support towards the fulfilment of their sporting goals by the ‘Implementation Partner’, GoSports Foundation.
Aryan Goveas (Tennis) reached the semi-final stage at 5 international tournaments in 2019, in the doubles category. He was also a finalist in the Singles Category at the Fenesta National Tennis Championships, Delhi and trained at the David Ferrer Academy for a month. A disciplined training and nutrition programme are constantly propelling him forward.
Yash Fadte (Squash) won the Asian Junior Championships in 2019, along with 5 podium finishes domestically. He is currently the number 1 ranked U-19 Male Squash player in India and also represented the country at the World Junior Championships held in Kuala Lumpur. He underwent a high-performance training stint with Chris Ryder in the United Kingdom.
Pranavi Urs (Golf) despite being an amateur golfer, finished runner up in 3 Professional events in India. With a specialised nutrition and fitness plan, Pranavi is on the road to becoming a successful professional golfer in the years to come. She underwent a high-performance training stint with Steven Giuliano, a renowned Australian golf instructor and member of Professional Golf Association.
Suvana C Baskar (Swimming), with a current timing of 2:22.03 in 200 m Backstroke this year, she slashed more than 3 seconds of her personal best time, enabling her to reach new heights in 2019. She won a total of 26 international and domestic medals, including 2 Golds and 1 Silver at the Malaysian Open Championship and a Bronze in the Asian Age Group Swimming Championship.
Khushi Dinesh (Swimming), with a personal best time of 4:30.8 in 400 m Freestyle, established herself as one of the best young female swimmers in the country. Along with a good nutrition programme coupled with specialised strength and conditioning training, she is able to constantly improve her performance. She represented India at the World Junior Championship 2019 in Budapest.
Advait Page (Swimming), with a personal best time of 8:00.76, slashed a whole 9 seconds as compared to his previous year’s performance. He has achieved the B Standard Qualification mark for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 800 m Freestyle Event.
Nethra Kumanan (Sailing) finished 2019 with a World Ranking of 78, up 9 places from last year. This can be attributed to a strong training programme at Gran Canaria Sailing Academy, Spain along with the help of a mental conditioning coach. She was adjudged the overall winner of the Laser Radial Women’s Category at the National Sailing Championship, Hyderabad held in July 2019.
Witnessing impressive results of the “Stars of Tomorrow”, John Loffhagen, President, IFSG, said, “At IFSG, we believe that sports have the power to change lives. We launched the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ initiative with the objective of empowering athletes in their journey towards achieving excellence in their chosen fields, thereby contributing towards building India as a sporting powerhouse. We are overwhelmed to see the selected athletes excel and exhibit great performance as they represented India on global platforms.”