Swimmers head to Asian Youth Games

National coach S Pradeep Kumar has a chat with his wards at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre in Bangalore on Sunday. The swimmers arrived here from the Pink City on Sunday morning and had a training session at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre before leaving for the meet late in the night.

The 10-member swimming squad, led by Karnataka’s Aaron D’Souza and Arhatha Magavi, will take part in a total of 20 events comprising 16 individual and four relay races in the seven-day competition.

Karnataka boys D’Souza, Gagan AP, who was named the best swimmer at the Junior Nationals, Akash Rohit and Aditya Roshan, Punjab’s Jashandeep Singh and Pulkit Kumar of Haryana are expected to bring home medals in the boys’ section.

In the girls’ section, State swimmers Arhatha, Sneha T and Pratima Kollali, and Goan Talasha Prabhu carry the hopes.

The team had a hurried practice session on at BAC, and National coach S Pradeep Kumar said he was confident of a good show by his wards. 

“I am sure three of our swimmers will win medals. They had a good work-out in Jaipur. I expect them to perform well in the first major event of the season,” Pradeep said.

The swimmers will have an added incentive as the meet also brings with it a berth in the 2010 Youth Olympics.

“Aaron has already met the qualifying mark. Talasha, Arhatha and Sneha are also capable of going past the qualification mark,” Pradeep added.

Squad (events in brackets): Boys: Aaron D’Souza (100M freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100, 200 butterfly); AP Gagan (400 freestyle); Akash Rohit (200 breaststroke); Jashandeep Singh (50 breaststroke); Aditya Roshan (100 breaststroke); Pulkit Kumar (50 freestyle).

Girls: Arhatha Magavi (50, 100, 200 butterfly); Talasha Prabhu (100, 200 freestyle); T Sneha (50 freestyle); Pratima Kollali (400 freestyle).
Team events: 4x100 freestyle relay, 4x100 medley relay (both boys and girls).

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