Unlike other teenagers like him, Aaron Agnel D’Souza’s hobby is unique. The 17-year-old has been collecting records in the pool with the same enthusiasm the others of his age would collect CDs with.

The first year BSc student from Bangalore, who has established more than 30 records in various age group competitions, virtually set the LNCPE pool on fire while bringing in a new mark in the men’s 200m freestyle at the 63rd National senior aquatics meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Though he clocked 1:53.36 to better his own mark (1:54.38) set last year, it was no where near his best. D’Souza’s best ever time (1:52.22s) came while winning the gold in Asian Youth Games in Singapore recently. Nevertheless, the young lad is happy that he has started off his campaign on a high note. D’Souza was also part of the Karnataka squad which set a new mark in 4x100m freestyle relay.

Starting early

D’Souza who was hooked on to swimming when he was three took to competitive swimming when he was five. It was the unbridled support from his parents that saw this young lad climb the echelons of competitive swimming.

His parents shifted from Pune to Bangalore just to pursue their son’s interest in swimming. He improved by leaps and bounds under the tutelage of S. Pradeep Kumar at the Basavanagudi Aquatics Centre. Pradeep has been his coach since 2004.

The youngster has a healthy rivalry with Virdhawal Khade, who holds the current best Indian performance in the 200m freestyle. D’Souza, who will be competing in eight events in this meet, has set his sights on the Commonwealth Games in 20l0 and by that time he hopes to shave a few more seconds off his personal best in the 200m free. The youngster hopes to do a sub 1:48s in his favourite event.

D’Souza would love to spend sometime training abroad to realise his dream but for the shortage of funds.

Nevertheless the youngster is focussed on his carrying his good show in the coming Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.

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