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Sailing-India's Saravanan hones competitiveness on a walk, in the kitchen and on water

NEW DELHI : On the pavement, in the kitchen or on water - Vishnu Saravanan is wasting no opportunity to hone his competitive streak ahead of the Paris Games, and egging the Indian on is a coach with an unorthodox theory about Olympic preparations.

The 25-year-old is set to become only the second Indian sailor to compete in multiple Olympics and is eyeing a top 10 finish in what would be his second Games appearance.

It would be a significant improvement on his 20th place finish in Tokyo three years ago and his Croatian coach Milan Vujasinovic is keen Saravanan stays fiercely competitive.

"Whether we are on water or off it, he has a theory that we should always be having a competitive mindset," Saravanan told a virtual press conference arranged by the Sports Authority of India on Tuesday.

"If somebody's walking in front of you, you'd have to overtake them. That's the kind of mindset I have to implement.

"We actually compete against each other in everything, from cooking to walking. He's a funny guy.

"He helps me with everything and he's a good coach. He's well respected around the fleet. So I'm lucky to have him."

Saravanan does not mind the time he spends in the kitchen though as it is part of his broader coping mechanism to deal with loneliness.

The Asian Games bronze medallist spends a significant chunk of the year training abroad and squeezed in a brief trip back to see his family before the Paris Games.

"Sometimes I don't even come home for eight months. It's quite lonely sometimes but then I remember what the target is and that keeps me kind of hopeful."


This is where cooking is coping for the Laser Standard sailor from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

"I love cooking even though I don't cook much Indian