India got off to a flying start at the 2019 Asian Age Group Swimming Championships with the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team bagging a comfortable gold medal in Bengaluru.
The Iranian team finished second with a timing of 3:28:46 while Uzbekistan’s swimmers rounded off the final podium spot.
India’s swimmers were quick to begin the relay with Nataraj giving his side a sizeable lead. That lead was further augmented by veteran swimmers Prakash and Khade to ensure India got off to a sparkling start in the pool.
Big wins for Rawat
It was a day to remember for young Kushagra Rawat as he won dual golds for the nation, finishing first in the 200m as well as in the 800m freestyle events.
Rawat bagged India’s first individual gold at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championships after he clocked a time of 1:52:30 in the 200m, with compatriot Anand Anilkumar winning the bronze medal while Syria’s Abbas Omar clinched the silver.
Rawat continued his fine showing in the 800m freestyle category, as he fended off the challenge of Chinese Taipei’s Chang Cheng Livei and Syrian Abbas Omar to comfortably win his second gold medal.
Apart from Rawat, Nataraj also won top prize for India in the 50m backstroke event as he clocked a time of 25.30 seconds.
Silver for Sajan
India’s veteran swimmer Sajan Prakash, who participated in the 2016 Rio Games, nabbed a silver medal on the opening day in the 200m individual medley category, finishing behind Thailand’s Nuttapong Ketin.
In the women’s category too there was a lot to rejoice for the hosts, as Maana Patel won gold in the 50m backstroke category, while Shivani Kataria bagged a silver in the 200m freestyle, finishing behind Thai swimmer Natthanan Junkrajang.
India’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team also performed admirably as they managed a silver medal to ensure the hosts clinched a whopping 11 medals on the opening day of the competition.