Para swimmer Niranjan sets new Asian markJune 8, 2018, Bangalore
Bengaluru para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan set an Asian record in 200m backstroke event at the Para Swimming World Series 2018 in Berlin on Thursday. Niranjan clocked 3:16.01 seconds while covering the distance as he eclipsed Van Chung’s existing mark of 4:02.49 seconds. The Vietnam swimmer had set the record back in 2003 in the S7 category.
Speaking to TOI from Berlin, Niranjan revealed that this win was an unexpected one considering he had been struggling with injuries for the last few months.
“I’ve been off swimming for six-eight months because of back-to-back injuries… since last September. This year being an important one this (the record) is a major boost for me,” he said.
“I didn’t expect a record since I started backstroke only recently and also because I’m returning from injury. So didn’t expect it, especially the margin,” added the 23-year-old.
Almost 20 swimmers, along with national coach John Christopher and staff, are in Berlin for the meet which concludes on June 10.
Niranjan had already met the cut-off time for the Asian Para Games in Indonesia during the meet in Indianapolis in April.
He clocked 1:14.75 seconds in the 100m freestyle category and 1:57.59 seconds in the 100m breaststroke category to come well under the cut off of 2:19.86 seconds (S7 category) and 3:33.83 seconds (SB6 category) respectively.
Although the event in which he secured the Asian Record is not a Paralympic event, the Karnataka swimmer is keen to carry on the confidence he gained after this effort.
“I met the cut off for the Asian Games two months ago in Indianapolis. I am hoping to set better time here and then go up in the rankings for the Games,” he revealed.
The swimmer will now take to the pool in the 50m butterfly and 400m freestyle events in Berlin in the next couple of days.