Friday, 25 July 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Indians @ the 2nd FINA World Youth Swimming Championships at Monterrey, Mexico – Virdhawal Khade is the fastest swimmer in Asia, so far, this year
India’s top youth swimmers, 18yrs and under for the boys and 17yrs and under for the girls, participated in the 2nd FINA World Youth Swimming Championships at Monterrey, Mexico from 8-13 July 2008.
No Indian swimmer won a medal here, but Virdhawal Khade’s performances made everyone sit up and take notice. Virdhawal, who will celebrate his 17th birthday in the end of August, was racing with boys a year older to him. Virdhawal went on to become the first and only Indian swimmer, so far, to make the finals, top 8, of an event of this magnitude. In each of his main events – 50, 100 and 200m Freestyle – he created new National Records and swam faster than the previous World Youth Championship records. The maximum time gap that separated him from a medal was 0.63sec (in the 200m Freestyle).
Virdhawal’s best finish came in the 50m Freestyle where he finished 5th with time of 22.95sec (this time would have earned him a bronze medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games). In the semi-finals, Virdhawal clocked an amazing time of 22.69sec. With this time he: is currently tied-fastest Asian swimmer this year/ would have won a silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games/ is currently ranked no. 86 in the World this year (click here for the list)/ was faster than the previous championship record time of 22.74sec. He also broke Olympian Sebastian Xavier’s 10-year-old National record time of 22.89sec. Three out of the four swimmers who swam faster than Virdhawal were a year older to him. He missed getting onto the medal podium by 0.25sec.
In the 100m Freestyle Virdhawal finished 7th with a time of 50.70sec. Five out of the six swimmers who swam faster than Virdhawal were a year older to him. Virdhawal missed getting onto the medal podium by 0.37sec. In the semi-finals, Virdhawal clocked 50.49sec creating a new National Record. The previous National Record was held by him with a time of 50.66sec that he set in May this year.
In the 200m Freestyle Virdhawal finished 6th with a time of 1:50.35sec. Three out of the five swimmers who swam faster than Virdhawal were a year older to him. Virdhawal missed getting onto the medal podium by 0.63sec. He bettered his previous National Record time of 1:51.65sec set by him in May this year.
India finished 24th with 36 points with Virdhawal being the sole contributor – 13, 11 and 12 points in the 50, 100 and 200m Freestyle respectively.
According to Virdhawal’s coach, Mr. Nihar Ameen, two things became apparent during the course of the competition, the first was that Virdhawal has what it takes to be among the best in the world and second that Virdhawal is very inexperienced and needs to compete more at this level.
The results of the other Indian swimmers are as follows:
Agnishwar Jayaprakash (1990):
50m Breaststroke – finished 26th with a time of 30.30sec
200m IM – finished 28th with a time of 2:13.54sec
200m Breaststroke – finished 32nd with a time of 2:33.18sec
100m Breaststroke – finished 36th with a time of 1:08.55sec
Sandeep Nagaranthal (1990):
50m Backstroke – finished 34th with a time of 28.22sec
100m Backstroke – finished 44th with a time of 1:01.24sec
50m Freestyle – finished 51st with a time of 25.24sec
Ashwin Menon (1991):
100m Backstroke – finished 49th with a time of 1:02.00sec
50m Backstroke – finished 51st with a time of 29.55sec
Aaron D’souza (1992):
200m Butterfly – finished 18th with a time of 2:05.01sec
100m Butterfly – finished 31st with a time of 57.19sec
100m Freestyle – finished 34th with a time of 52.99sec
200m Freestyle – finished 49th with a time of 1:57.97sec
Siddhant Deshmukh (1992):
100m Butterfly – finished 42nd with a time of 58.50sec
50m Butterfly – finished 62nd with a time of 27.37sec
Fariha Zaman (1991):
50m Backstroke – finished 32nd with a time of 31.96sec
100m Backstroke – finished 39th with a time of 1:09.72sec
Surabi Tipre (1993):
1500m Freestyle – finished 22nd with a time of 18:44.75sec
400m Freestyle – finished 34th with a time of 4:40.81sec
800m Freestyle – finished 35th with a time of 9:39.99sec
200m Freestyle – finished 47th with a time of 2:16.80sec
Click here for all the results.
Rehan Poncha was the only one who made the most of the opportunity and became the fourth and last Indian swimmer to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games. He clocked a time of 2:01.40sec, which is faster than the Olympic Qualifying time of 2:01.79sec, to finish 5th in the 200m Buttefly. The 22-year-old Rehan also went on to better Khazan Singh's National record of 2:02.38sec which was set in the year he was born.
Rehan Poncha trains at the Basvangudi Aquatic Centre, Bangalore under National coach Pradeep Kumar.
Shikha again narrowly missed the flight to Beijing. She clocked 26.53sec, which was 0.21sec slower than the qualifying time, in a separate time-trial. Earlier in the prelims she clocked 26.89sec.
Rohit Havaldar finished 6th in the 200m Backstroke with a time of 2:16.57sec. In the 200m Freestyle he finished 13th with a time of 1:58.40sec, in the prelims he had clocked 1:57.26sec. In the 400m Freestyle he finished 8th with a time of 4:09.40sec, in the prelims he had clocked 4:04.65sec
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
A group of India’s top swimmers – Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal, Shikha Tandon, Rohit Havaldar and Aaron D’souza – participated in the 4th Singapore National Swimming Championships 2008, held from 4- 8th June. This event was a designated Olympic Qualifying event.
It served as a good preparatory meet for the Olympic qualified swimmers – Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal – and an opportunity for the others to earn their Olympic berth.
Virdhawal Khade won two gold medals – 50m Freestyle (23.38sec – meet record) and 200m Freestyle (1min 53.57sec), one silver medal – 100m Freestyle (51.69sec) – and one bronze medal – 50m Butterfly (25.33sec).
Sandeep Sejwal finished 3rd overall in the 200m Breaststroke (2:21.38sec) and 5th overall in the 50m Breaststroke (29.96sec).
Both Virdhawal and Sandeep were swimming this meet in the middle of a high intensity training cycle and did not taper for this meet. Taking this into consideration their performances were creditable.
Shikha Tandon won one gold medal – 50m Freestyle (26.38sec – meet record) – and one bronze medal – 100m Freestyle (58.26sec). In the 50m Freestyle, she again came excruciatingly close to making the Olympic cut, this time missing it by 0.06sec.
Rohit Havaldar won two gold medals – 200m Backstroke (2:08.29sec – meet record) and 1500m Freestyle (16:24.12sec) – and two silver medals – 200m Freestyle (1:57.24sec) and 400m Freestyle (4:04.39sec).
Aaron D’souza won a gold medal – 200m Butterfly (2:03.93sec), finished 5th in the 100m Freestyle (53.51sec) and finished 6th overall in the 100m Butterfly (57.47sec).
The Indian Women’s Association and The India Club organized interactive sessions with Olympic qualified swimmers – Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal – at the Indian High Commission. Through events like these we hope more Indians living abroad will get excited about the talent that exists in