Vishnu Saravanan, India’s sailing hope in Paris, targets No. 1 ranking

Vishnu Saravanan (Credit: SAI Media)

Vishnu Saravanan feels he is a more mature athlete going into the Paris 2024 Olympics. Replying to the first question asked by RevSportz at an interaction organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Tuesday, Vishnu, who is training in Marseille, in France, said:“Covid changed the Tokyo Olympics. The pandemic helped me grow as an athlete. I keep following my routine, keep moving forward. Tokyo was special, my first Olympics.”


Having made the cut for Paris 2024 in style, Vishnu has enough time to train, and explained in a nutshell what his day is like. It begins at 8am, when he hits the gym. “I wanted to qualify for Paris in Australia,” said Vishnu. “It was fun to be able to do that. Leading to Paris, I have more time. Am training in Marseille. Definitely, I am growing as an athlete and a person.”


Post-gym, Vishnu, who won a bronze a medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last year, prepares for his hectic day.  He has a hearty breakfast. “I eat a lot of eggs, I was brought up on that plus porridge,” he said, the conversation suggesting he was relaxed in the mind.


“Sailing from 11am to 3pm, I come back at 5pm and then take an afternoon nap for recovery. Sometimes a three-hour nap! Well that’s not good.”


He explained his usual nap was one hour, which is good for recovery. In the evening, as well, Vishnu tries to hit the gym, if possible. 


Explaining the concept of training, Vishnu spoke of how “one has to learn to understand the body. One cannot jump from Level 1 to Level 10. I sleep at 10pm, no energy left after that.”


Talking about pressure, Vishnu said it was important. “Billie Jean King said pressure is a privilege,” said Vishnu. And he enjoys it. He praised his parents for all the support. “My Dad has sacrificed his time for us (family),” said Vishnu. “At age three, he took me on a kayak, and we were going to villages. He was trying to explain to villagers on sanitation, next to the river.”


On rankings, Vishnu said it is crucial. “I was surprised I am back at No.17 in the world rankings,” he said, having finished 20th in a field of 35 at the Tokyo Olympics. “I have been consistently doing well this year. It has given me a huge confidence boost and I can have my A game. It shows my potential. The world ranking is important and one day I will be World No.1.”


He said the training base in Marseille was good, and he had already spent a month there. “There will be a lot of ups and downs in the results (in Olympics),” explained Vishnu. Asked about staying in Marseille and training there, Vishnu said: “There are little observations on weather conditions. My coach monitors the wind shift, and weather forecast is important in Marseille.” 


The athlete in Vishnu has taught him to be patient. “Overall, it will be challenging in the Olympics,” he said. Vishnui also made a comparison between chess and sailing. That was a reference to both his mind and how much he enjoys chess