Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Sejwal and Khade Enter 2009 World Rankings

GoSports Press release on July 20th 2009

Star Swimming Duo enter Top 150
Bangalore July 20, 2009 - Following a stellar performance at the International Schwimmfest in Darmstadt, Germany - the talented swimming duo of Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal have made their official entry into the 2009 World Rankings (top 150).
Khade is currently World No. 107 in the 50m Butterfly event (in which he won a Gold medal in Germany) and Sejwal is World No. 142 in the 50m Breast-stroke (in which he won a Silver and broke his own National record in Germany).
The official entry into the rankings will embolden the young swimmers as they take on the best in the world at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome next week.

FINA information regarding the 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The first Youth Olympic Games is scheduled to be held in Singapore between August 14-26, 2010. Young athletes - between 14 and 18 years of age - will compete in 26 sports.

The qualification information for swimming as published on the FINA website on 19th June 2009 can be obtained here.

Click here for the official website.

This will be a great platform for India's young talent to make a mark on the world stage.

Indian swimmers @ the Asian Youth Games, Singapore

Arhatha Magavi and Aaron D'souza with their medals

The Indian swimmers made their mark at the 1st Asian Youth Games held at the Singapore 2-6 July 2009. The swimmers had to be 17 years and below to be eligible for this meet (i.e. they should have been born on or after January 1st 1992).

17-year-old Aaron D'Souza was the star among the boys. He won one gold - 200m Freestyle (1:52.22sec) - and one bronze medal - 100m Freestyle (51:52sec).

Arhatha Magavi was the star among the girls. She won a silver in the 200m Butterfly (2:18.86sec). The 15-year-old from Bangalore showed that she has what it takes and with age on her side we are sure to see new standards set by her.

Both the swimmers train at the Basavangudi Aquatic Center, Bangalore under National Coach Pradeep Kumar.

Click here for all the official results.

For the consolidated results on Wikipedia click here.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Indian Junior National Swimming Championships 2009

The 2009 edition of the Junior National Swimming Championships was held in Jaipur, Rajasthan from 23-27 June 2009.

The best swimmers were:
Group I (15-17yrs) - Gagan A.P. (Karnataka)
Group II (13-14yrs) - Shaun D'Souza (Karnataka)

Group I (15-17yrs) - Talasha Prabhu (Goa)
Group II (13-14yrs) - Sneha T. (Karnataka)

Note: Many of the top junior swimmers did not participate as they were either training for the Rome World Championships or the Asian Youth Games at Singapore.

Click here for all the results.(courtesy PDAAA)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Indian swimmers preparation for the World Championships

There were a few Indian swimmers that were competing at various international competitions to help them fine tune for the 2009 Rome World Championships.

Mare Nostrum – Barcelona 6-7 June 2009

The Mare Nostrum series attracts some of the world’s best swimmers and Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and J. Agnishwar participated in this meet.


Virdhawal Khade’s best finish was 17th in the 50m Butterfly.

Sandeep Sejwal’s best finish was 13th in the 100m Breaststroke. He made the B-finals in two events – 100 and 200m Breaststroke.

J. Agnishwar’s best finish was 30th in the 50m Breaststroke.

Click here for all the results.

Rehan Poncha with his medals at the Singapore Nationals

5th Singapore National Swimming Championships – 10-14 June 2009

Rehan Poncha was the lone Indian representative at this meet. Rehan finished the meet with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.


400m Freestyle – Gold (Personal Best time)

200m Butterfly – Silver

200m IM – Silver

400m IM – Bronze

Click here for all the results.

Nihar Ameen, J. Agnishwar, Sandeep Sejwal and Virdhawal Khade at Paris

3rd Open EDF de Natation – Paris 19-21 June 2009

This is also called the French Open of swimming. With the French becoming a dominant force in world swimming this meet attracted some of the top swimmers from around the world. Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and J. Agnishwar participated in the meet.


Virdhawal Khade’s best finish was 12th in the 100m Butterfly.

Sandeep Sejwal’s best finish was 6th in the 200m Breaststroke. He also made it to the finals of the 100m Breaststroke where he finished 7th. Sandeep broke the National record in the 50m Breaststroke clocking a time of 28.77sec. The previous record of 29.08sec was created by him at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

J. Agnishwar’s best finish was 13th in the 200m IM.

Click here for all the results.

Internationales Schwimmfest – Darmstadt (Germany) (50m) 10-12 July 2009

Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and J. Agnishwar participated in the meet. This was the last meet before the World Championships and hence they participated in limited events just to keep the momentum of racing.


Virdhawal Khade won a gold medal in the 50m Freestyle clocking a meet record time of 22.96sec. He also went on to win a silver medal in the 50m Butterfly clocking a time of 24.28sec.

Sandeep Sejwal won a silver medal in the 50m Breaststroke. He once again broke the National record clocking a time of 28.65sec.

J. Agnishwar’s best finish was 5th in the 200m IM.

Click here for the results of the Indian swimmers.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Sub-Junior Nationals 2009

The 26th Sub-Junior Nationals were held at Panaji, Goa from 26th-30th May 2009.

Best Swimmers:
Boys group III (11-12yrs) - Supriya Mondol (Bengal)
Boys group IV (10 and under) - Aditya Ghosh (Maharashtra)

Girls group III (11-12 yrs) - Sherlyn Devadason (Tamilnadu)
Girls group IV (10 and under) - Damini K. Gowda (Karnataka)

Click here for all the results (courtesy PDAAA).

Teams for Asian Youth championship and World Championships

(The article appeared in The Hindu on June 10th, 2009, click here)

The Indian swimming camp for the Asian Youth championship, scheduled to be held in Singapore from June 29, is in full swing at Bangalore and according to Chief National coach S. Pradeep Kumar, the Indian squad will strive to return home with a few medals.

“The meet is important for us as the swimmers would aim not only for medals but also for good qualifying times for the World Youth championship,” said the coach. The Swimming Federation of India will also send a team for the FINA World championship scheduled to be held in Rome next month.

The teams: Asian Youth championship: Boys: A.P. Gagan, Aaron D’Souza, Aditya Roshan, Akash Rohit and Jasamdeep. Girls: Pratima Kollali, Arhata Magavi, Talasha Prabhu and T. Sneha.

World championship: Men: Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal, J.P. Arjun, Ashwin Menon, Mandar Divase, J. Agnishwar and Praveen Tokas. Women: Faria Zaman, Talasha Prabhu, Vempa, Shubha Chittaranjan, Pooja R. Alva and Vandita Dharia.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and J. Agnishwar head to Europe

Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and J. Agnishwar along with their coach Nihar Ameen left for Europe last week. They are scheduled to train and compete in the region in lead up to the World Swimming Championships at Rome, Italy in July this year.

The tentative schedule will be as follows:
* Altitude Training, Sierra Nevada, Spain
* Competition: Mare Nostrum, Barcelona, Spain
* Bio-mechanic Analysis, Bordeaux, France
* Competition: French Open Swimming Championships, Paris, France
* LSB Sports and Conference Center , Frankfurt, Germany
* Competition: FINA World Swimming Championships, Rome, Italy

Look out for more updates as the swimmers begin competing.

Swimmers to train in South Africa

(The article appeared in The Hindu on March 1st, 2009, click here)

A 35-member Indian swimming contingent, comprising 20 boys and 15 girls, will leave for South Africa on March 1 to train at the High Performance Training Centre in the University of Pretoria campus.

The squad will be accompanied by three coaches, including the chief National coach S. Pradeep Kumar. The South African training stint will last a month.

The swimmers have been training for the past 50 days at the SAI (South) Centre pool in Kengeri, near here, for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As many as 78 swimmers were called for the camp, but only 61 reported. Many had to skip the camp due to exams.

Top swimmers, including Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and Rehan Poncha, however, preferred to train at their respective clubs after making a token appearance at the camp.


“It was not compulsory to attend the camp, but those who did have benefited from it,” said Pradeep. “The camp’s focus was mainly on physical conditioning. In South Africa, the swimmers would undergo further evaluation so that we can work on their specific needs before going into stroke correction and speed work,” added Pradeep.

The camp at SAI winds up on Saturday. Though the team had received the green signal, there was some anxiety about timely release of funds for the trip. Pradeep, however, confirmed on Friday that this has been made and the team is all set to leave as scheduled.

The team:

Boys: K. Rajeev, Anoop Augustine, Praveen Tokas, Rushab Pawar, Aditya Sangvekar, Sourabh Sangvekar, Akash Rohit, Aditya Roshan, Sibnath, Sumanthanath, Pulkit Kumar, Sunil, Diwakar, Gopinath Kayal, Mandar Divase, J.P. Arjun, Rahul Choksi, Anshul Kothari, Rohit Kumar and Anjani Kumar.

Girls: Pooja Alva, Shubha, Kshipra Mahajan, Richa Mishra, Amreen Mallik, Fariha Zaman, Talasha Prabhu, Pratima Kollali, Sreelaksmi Gorut, Shilpa Naifu, Vandita Dharial, Sneha, Bhoomi Motwani, Aditi Malavika and Gulnaz Rawoof.

Coaches: Pradeep Kumar, Satish Suri and Biswajith Dey Chowdhury.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Recap 2008

Indian Swim Team @ Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
L-R: Sandeep Sejwal, Ankur Poseria, Virdhawal Khade, Rehan Poncha and Nihar Ameen (Coach)

2008 was a historic year for Indian swimming. Some of the highlights are as follows:
  • For the first time four swimmers - Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal, Rehan Poncha and Ankur Poseria - represented India the Olympic Games.
  • First time an Indian Breaststroke swimmer qualified for an Olympic Games. Sandeep Sejwal qualified in both the 100 and 200m Breaststroke.
  • First time an Indian swimmer swam three events at an Olympic Games. Virdhawal Khade swam the 50, 100 and 200m Freestyle.
  • First time an Indian swimmer swam under 50 sec in the 100m Freestyle and 1min 50sec in the 200m Freestyle. This was achieved by Virdhawal Khade at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune.
  • First time India won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Virdhawal Khade finished as the most decorated athlete of the games winning 3 Gold and 3 Silver medals. India got its highest tally - 3Gold, 3Silver and 1 Bronze.
  • First time two Indian swimmers - Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal - broke into the top 150 of the FINA World rankings, that too in multiple events. Virdhawal Khade ended the year 2008 ranked no. 64 in the 50m Butterfly, no. 81 in the 100m Freestyle and no. 109 in the 50m Freestyle. Virdhawal is also the youngest in the top 100 in both the 50m Butterfly and the 100m Freestyle. Sandeep on the other hand ranked No. 97 in the 100m Breaststroke and no. 103 in the 200m Breaststroke. These are all the more creditable considering that it was the Olympic year where timings are considerably faster.
  • First time an Indian swimmer made it to the finals at the World Youth Swimming Championships. It was also the first time that India got on the points board at a swimming meet of this level. Virdhawal was the sole point earner as he finished 5th, 7th and 6th in the 50, 100 and 200m Freestyle. In each of these events he missed a medal by a hair's breadth.

India has finally made its presence felt on the world stage with some excellent performances. The year ahead is crucial as the swimmers prepare to make a mark at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Go India Go!!

Senior National Swimming Championships 2008

The 2008 Senior National Swimming Championships was held at the Gachibowli swimming pool in Hyderabad from 5-10 November 2008. The swimmers conspicuous with their absence were - Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal (both were catching up with their studies) and Shikha Tandon (who was forced to sit out due to an injury).

Rehan Poncha and Richa Mishra stamped their domination winning the title of the best male and female swimmers. They each won their respective five events.

Mandar Divase was the only swimmer to create National records - 800m Freestyle (8:31.61sec) and 1500m Freestyle (16:17.07sec).

The performances in general were good considering that this meet came at the end of a long and hard Olympic year.

Click here to get all the results (courtesy Pune District Amateur Aquatic Association).