Kushagra Rawat bagged two gold medals in individual events as Indian swimmers excelled on the opening day of the Asian Age Group Championships event, here on Tuesday.
Rawat clocked 1:52.30 seconds while fellow Indian Anand Anilkumar finished third with a time of 1:54.19 seconds in 200m freestyle event in open men’s category.
Syria’s Abbas Omar finished second and was only a fraction of a second slower than Rawat with a time of 1:52.33 seconds.
“I caught up with my opponent in the last 75 metres. I looked up and saw my opponent was right next to me and I had a lot left in me, I decided to go all out. I beat by opponent by a margin and I’m sure I can better my time to 1:51 seconds,” said Rawat.
He later won the 800m freestyle event, clocking 8:10.05 to finish ahead of Chang Cheng Livei (8:20.14) of Chinese Taipei and Abbas Omar (8:31.64) of Syria.
Shoan Ganguly also won gold for India in the 200 metres individual medley group II boys with a time of 2:11.18. He also won the silver in the 200 metres freestyle clocking 1:55.18 seconds apart from winning a silver in the 4X100 metres freestyle relay for group II boys.
Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel took India’s count to an impressive six gold medals, with their stupendous effort in the 50m backstroke event for open category men and women respectively. Nataraj clocked 25.30 to win the gold while Patel clocked 29.92 to win.
“My personal best is actually 29.30 which I had clocked four years ago at the same meet in Bangkok but after my injury I struggled over the past four years and could not break the sub-30 seconds barrier. But to have done it today giving me the confidence to go faster,” said Patel.
“I think my finish was poor. I glided too long but I am glad I had taken enough lead which helped me finish first. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is my main event – the 100m backstroke and I can’t afford any such errors,” Srihari, who was also part of India”s gold-winning 4x100m relay team, said.
He beat Atayev Merdan (26.30) from Turkmenistan and Chograthin Kasipat (26.36) from Thailand.
Meanwhile, India’s ace swimmer Sajan Prakash won the silver medal in the 200 metres individual medley. He finished behind Ketin Nuttapong (2:0629) and ahead of Sukkieo Phuwadon (2:08.21) both from Thailand.
Likith Selvaraj also added to India’s medal tally by winning the bronze medal in the 100 metres breaststroke men’s open category with time of 1:02.19 seconds. Vladislav Mustafin (1:01.41) of Uzbhekistan and Denis Petrashov (1:01.88) of Kyrgyzstan finished first and second respectively.