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).