Bengaluru: The trio of Virdhawal Khade, Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj will look to achieve the 'A' standard Olympic qualification mark when they spearhead the Indian challenge at the 10th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships, starting here on Tuesday.
All the three swimmer have made the 'B' cut in the recent months. While Virdhawal had achieved it in the 50m freestyle event at the Senior Swimming Nationals last month, Sajan did that in 200m butterfly at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
Srihari clocked the Olympic 'B' qualification time in 100m backstroke at the FINA Junior World Championships last month.
Middle and long-distance freestyle swimmer Kushagra Rawat, sprinter Rujuta Khade, backstroker Maana Patel and middle-distance swimmer Shivani Kataria are expected to contribute to India's medal tally in the event.
A strong line-up in the Group I boys will see Tanish G Mathew lead the charge as he takes part in 50, 100, 200m butterfly. Hiten S Mittal, Sanjay CJ, Swadesh Mondal are among the other Group I swimmers expected to make podium finish.
Suvana Bhaskar, Kenisha Gupta, Kushi Dinesh will be India's medal hopes in the Group I girls category while Shoan Ganguly, Vedant Madhavan, Sahil Laskar, Devansh Parmar, Utkarsh Patil and Vidith Sankar have been named in the Group II Boys.
"The Indian team has been selected on the basis of national trials and the cut off time set by Asia Swimming Federation. These 44 swimmers are the best in the country and this edition of Asian Age Group Championships taking place at home gives them a great opportunity to make a mark at the international level," Executive Director of Swimming Federation of India Virendra Nanavati said.
The event will witness top competitors from countries such as Japan, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kazakstan.
"The home advantage will surely be a driving force and we have kept the 'A' cut time in mind during our training in the lead up to this event. We are confident of a good show and personally I am looking to swim faster than the Senior Nationals last month," Virdhawal said.
The event will have participants in open category (18 years and above), as well as Age Groups I (15-17 years) and II (14 years and below).
In the previous edition, India won a total of 40 medals (5 gold, 13 silver, 22 bronze) in swimming, while the country won 3 gold, two silver and three bronze medals in divin
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Updated Date: Sep 23, 2019 21:25:52 IST