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Personality: Malavika V did Karnataka proud with a double gold haul at the Blore meet
Last Updated : 17 July 2010, 15:02 IST
Last Updated : 17 July 2010, 15:02 IST

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Malavika’s exploits at the Sub-junior National Aquatic championship gave an insight into her potential and her thirst for success — standing tall amids the ruins as the hosts were pushed to third spot behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The 12-year-old won the 50M (30.25 seconds) and 100M (1:03.70) freestyle gold with national records and 200M freestyle silver and 50M butterfly bronze in Group III.

Twice on the same day, she ducked under the one-lap freestyle national record mark, clocking 30.25 and 29.71 seconds in the heats and in the final respectively.

“I had lost the gold to Maharashtra’s Monique Gandhi in the 200M freestyle by a narrow margin (0.32 seconds). I was determined to make up for that defeat in the 50M freestyle which I did with a national mark. I am happy that I am improving my timing with every meet,” said Malavika, who studies in the Delhi Public School (South).

The 100M freestyle title, on the concluding day, gave Malavika the perfect farewell gift in front her home crowd as she will be graduating to juniors next year.

“I didn’t realise it was my last event at the sub-junior nationals. It’s good that I ended the meet with a national record. It will give me a lot of confidence when I compete in the higher Group II category next year,” Malavika said.

Two years back in Kolkata as a Group IV swimmer, Malavika claimed the 50M free (32.41) and 100M free (1:11.10) crowns. Malavika is also the Group III State champion in the 50M, 100M and 200M freestyle. 

Malavika took up the sport after seeing people swim at her apartment pool in JP Nagar. “I was really fascinated by swimming. Seeing my interest one of my teachers asked me to join BAC. I want to take swimming as my career. I would like to win more and more medals in big competitions,” said Malavika.

A product of Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre, home to many national and international swimmers, Malavika learnt her early lessons from Bushan Kumar. “I have been training her for three years now. She is a good freestyle swimmer and she is improving fast,” said Bushan.

Bushan attributes Malavika's success to her hard work. “In the State championship she clocked 2:24.00 in the 200M freestyle and she timed 2:17.52 at the national meet. She clipped four seconds in just four weeks’ time. That shows her hard work,” added Bushan.

Her father, Vishwanath Rajarao, Control System Engineer, and mother, Roopa Vishwanath, Project Consultant, said: “If she continues performing well then we will continue to support her. But not at the cost of her studies.” Malavika, who idolises American great Michael Phelps, said she wants to be known as an Olympic swimmer.

“My biggest dream is to compete in Olympics. I will put in my hundred percent effort to attain my goal,” she said.

Published 17 July 2010, 15:02 IST

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