The State Schools aquatics championship, which concluded here on Thursday, produced as many as 18 records. The four-day event also created a dubious ‘record'; and that came outside the pool.
It was set by the organisers, who seemed ill-equipped to perform one of the vital tasks while conducting an event like this: to make note of meet records.
According to the results announced on the opening day, there was only one meet record. Two days later it turned out the officials had overlooked four new records on day one.
It was only after one of the swimmers informed a newspaper reporter that she had set a record, the facts finally came out of the record books. Now, the officials were forced to recheck the results of events held two days earlier, and suddenly it started to rain records.
Though the records were not announced in time, they would of course be there at least for a year in their creators' names, but the point is, these kids missed out on their moments of glory.
And their achievements were not announced over the public address system.
So how did this lapse occur? Because there simply was no manual checking of the records at the end of an event, leaving everything to the computer.
This was the first time the State schools aquatics meet was using software programmes to record results, but the existing records were not keyed in before the competitions got under way. That was something the officials were aware of, but they still did not bother to check the timings and see if there was a new meet record.
“We admit there were some glitches as it was the first ever time we were using this system to record results,” Chacko Joseph, Sports Organiser of Directorate of Public Instruction, told The Hindu . “Everything will be perfect at the meet next year.”
At the receiving end of the ineptitude were four Thiruvananthapuram swimmers: R. Rahul Chandran, in the senior boys' 400m freestyle (4:31.56: NMR; OR: 4:31.62), B.S. Salu, in the senior girls' 50m butterfly (34.10: NMR; OR: 34.95), B.R. Sreelakshmi, in the senior girls' 400m freestyle (5:23.88: NMR; OR: 5:25.83), and M. Swathy Sundar in the junior girls' 50m butterfly (35.55: NMR; OR: 35.84).