Thiruvananthapuram: The swimmers competing in the ongoing National Games will not just be fighting it out for medals but also for a slot in the World Championships after governing body FINA approved the event as a qualifier for the big-ticket showpiece scheduled later this year.
"The National Games will be a qualifying event for the World Championships. The basic standards of qualifying are already fixed by FINA and swimmers who can produce those timings will be eligible for the World meet," Swimming Federation of India President Virendra Nanavati told PTI.
The World Championships, to be held in Kazan, Russia from July 24, will double up as a qualifying event for next year's Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
"All the swimmers have been intimated of what is at stake in the National Games. They were informed that National Games could be a qualifier for the Worlds before the start of the Games, so those who have chosen to skip, have done so being fully aware of the situation," Nanavati said.
The swimming competition of the National Games features among others, Asian Games bronze-medallists Sandeep Sejwal, Virdhawal Khade along with Richa Mishra, who made a successful return from a doping ban by bagging five medals in the National Championships last year.