Notable performance by Indian swimmers

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Indian men came up with notable performances in the Asian swimming championship held in Singapore from March 5 to 10 and most of them recorded their career-best time by figuring in the finals.

The most outstanding was Mandar Divase, who bettered his National best time in both the 800m and 1500m freestyle events. In the 800, Divase clocked 8:3.65secs and finished seventh in final. He thus eclipsed his own record of 8:45.88. In the 1500, Divase recorded 16:27.28secs bettering his previous mark of 16:30.83. Rehan Poncha did 4: 07.81secs in the 400m freestyle heats to set a new National mark, erasing J. Abhijith's 11-year-old National record of 4:09.74. Rehan, however, couldn't maintain the same form in the final and ended up with 4:08.51 in the final and was placed seventh.

Arjun does well

Arjun Muralidharan too did well clocking 2:04.87 in the 200m butterfly race. It was, however, still under Khazan Singh's National record (2:02.48), while Veerdawal Khade impressed with 53.35 in the 100m freestyle, which erased the National best of 53.51 set by Sujith in the SAF Games at Islamabad in 2003.

Shikha Tandon, who was the sole woman competitor after Shubha Chittaranajan failed to make the trip, couldn't quite match her personal best in the 50m freestyle (26.50) and clocked 27.0.

Coach Nihar Ameen, who accompanied the squad, told The Hindu: "Across the board, it was a satisfying outing for our swimmers, and for once, they were not overawed by the opposition as it happens in so many international meets and most performed to the best of their abilities, though Puneet Rana and Rohit Hawaldar came short."

The Indian squad had since then moved to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games.

Special Correspondent.