FINA Olympic hopefuls swept medals and broke records at the South Asian Games and Thanyapura-PIA’s own Swim League
PHUKET, THAILAND — With over 30 medals won and individual and team national records broken for five different countries, the Thanyapura-FINA “Targeting Rio 2016” program had its most successful meet to date at the South Asian Games in Guwahati, India from the 10th to 15th February 2016.
FINA’s “Targeting Rio 2016” worldwide scholarship program helps identify, qualify, and prepare athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since May 2015, over 20 sponsored athletes have been based in Thanyapura Phuket, the official FINA swim training center for South and Southeast Asia.
Sajina Shahidh of the Maldives broke the national record for the 200-meter breaststroke by over 7 seconds. She also set a new national standard for the 50-meter breaststroke. Her sister Soju recorded new national records for the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle, while her 800-meter freestyle set the new record for both 400 meters and 800 meters.
Sofia Gadegaard Shah of Nepal reclaimed the 200-meter freestyle national record during the event’s preliminaries and lowered it further at the finals, while her 100-meter freestyle in the first leg of the 4×100 relay and her individual 100-meter freestyle also broke the national record. She also set a new record in the 400-meter individual medley and lowered Nepal’s 50-meter freestyle record, going under the 29-second barrier twice. Countryman Sirish Gurung set the national record for the 400-meter freestyle.
Bangladesh’s Najma Khatun Najma set new national records in the 200-meter, 400-meter, and 800-meter freestyle. Compatriot Md Mahfizur Rahman Sagor also went under the national record in all the freestyle distances, first in the 400-meter freestyle, then bested the previous national record by three seconds in the men’s 200-meter freestyle and took bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle lowering the national record by over 11 seconds. Sagor also broke national records and won bronze in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle.
Kimiko Raheem set a new Sri Lanka record in the 100-meter freestyle as the starting swimmer of the country’s 4×100 free relay. She also claimed the gold medal, the meet record, and Sri Lanka’s national record by almost 2 seconds in the 200-meter backstroke. She continued her winning ways in the 100-meter backstroke, breaking the old meet record by 3 seconds and the Sri Lanka national record. Raheem claimed victory in the 50-meter freestyle with a new meet record of 26.4 seconds and replicated that feat in the 50-meter backstroke with a new meet record of 29.75 seconds. Finally, she lowered the national record in the 100-meter freestyle on the way to her fifth individual victory. Cheran de Silva took bronze in the 100-meter freestyle, and set a new personal best in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing fourth.
Sajan Prakash of India claimed gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle and set a new meet record, while Shivani Singh won the bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle.
Meanwhile back in Phuket the “Targeting Rio 2016” team also participated at the Thanyapura-Phuket International Academy Open Swim League on February 13, joining 130 competitors aged from 5 to 26 years old featuring entries from Kanjonkiet, British International School, Headstart, ISS Samui, and Thanyapura-PIA.
Thiha Aung of Burma and Gio Hem of Cambodia put their competitors through their paces, while new arrival Temuruate Strickland of the Cook Islands showed off and dominated the 50-meter backstroke. Susan Guo of the Thanyapura-PIA High Performance Program won all her events.
Watch out for these young athletes as they continue to optimize their potential at Asia’s leading sports, health, and wellness destination. Thanyapura also plans to build the first 100-meter training pool in Asia this April.