Khade satisfied with his progressJune 19, 2018, Bangalore
Virdhawal Khade recorded a personal best timing of 22.52s in 50m freestyle to go under the Asian Games qualification mark of 22.91s set by the Swimming Federation of India.
During the selection trials for the Asian Games held at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence here over the weekend, the 26-year-old eclipsed his own performance — the best by an Indian — which came nearly a decade ago (2009, 22.55s).
The team for Jakarta is expected to be announced after the National sub-junior & junior aquatic championships in Pune (June 24 to 29). “It is definitely satisfying,” Khade told The Hindu on Monday. “I have been working really hard and I expect to get much better in the coming months leading up to the games.”
Khade, a bronze medallist in 50m butterfly at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, is on the comeback trail. After having missed four straight high-profile events — the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games — he had to go through an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery last year.
At the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April, Khade’s timing was only 23.11s as he crashed out in the Heats. But the recent improvement will be greatly encouraging.
“The legs have been much better in the last few months,” he said. “Immediately after the surgery they weren’t really performing as well as I wanted them to. Now they are good.”
Khade also credited the “world-class” facilities at the Padukone-Dravid Centre — which boasts of a state-of-the-art pool built by Myrtha, the official pool designers for the Olympics — for his effort.