FINA Scholarship Athlete Spotlight: Michael Rasolonjatovo

“Seeing the waves motivated me to swim,” said Michael Rasolonjatovo.  The 18-year-old swimmer from Antananarivo, Madagascar lived an athletic childhood as a football player and karate practitioner prior to starting swimming when he turned six years old.  His father taught him how to swim and he joined the Malagasy Saint Michel Swimming Team afterward.

Michael lived and trained in Madagascar before FINA selected him as one of the scholarship programme recipients.  Michael competes in swim meets at Réunion Island every year since he was 12 years old.  Michael’s passion for swimming started when he saw stronger swimmers of the same age competing in swim meets.  He set his goal on becoming like them and eventually surpassing them.  One of his greatest obstacles is swimming in Madagascar’s cold, 20-degree Celsius pool.

The aquatics programme at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort introduced him to new training regimens.  He never exercised in the gym prior to moving to Thailand.  He trains for a few hours a day and eats a normal, unrestricted diet.  “There are no pollution at Thanyapura.  The pool is warm, the food is great – I can get everything I need such as ice baths, fitness classes, the gym, new friends and tips from older swimmers,” Michael pointed out.

Thanyapura’s coaches encourage him to do his best and give him new training programs different from what he was used to.  “In Madagascar, we do a lot of sprints.  Miguel balances endurance training with sprints.  We swim with weights and don’t get much rest.  We do timed sprints and push for more endurance.”

The FINA scholarship programme selected him on a points system, where the highest pointer is awarded the accolade.  The organization gives him opportunities to grow in his career, takes him to train at great destinations and pairs him up with amazing coaches.

Michael is preparing for the FINA World Championships in Budapest.  His goal is to swim the 200-freestyle in under two minutes by adding more gym workouts in addition to his swim training.

Michael is a science whiz and loves studying chemistry, physics and life science.  He graduated from Collège Saint Michel High School.  He plans to study medicine at a university in hopes of becoming a pharmacist.


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