Bengaluru, April 25 (UNI): Siva Sridhar representing hosts Jain University came up with a superb performance in the 200m individual medley to create a new meet record of 2:05.43 minutes.
Rohit Benediction of Anna University finished second by clocking 2:12.33 and Siddhant Sejwal of Panjab University clocked 2:14.70 minutes. After the race, Siva said there is pressure on the swimming team to win maximum medals, but they are very eager to give their best as their university has backed them to pursue their degree by providing performance-based scholarships.
Siva will participate in 50m,100m, 200m backstroke, 200m, 400m IM, 100m butterfly and 100m breast stroke. Last year his father suffered a stroke and subsequently had to retire from his job. For now, there is not a single breadwinner in Siva’s family, and hence it has been tough for him to keep his ambitions afloat in the financially demanding sport.
Nevertheless, the host university athlete is receiving substantial support from Basavangudi Aquatic Centre. The centre is taking care of Siva’s training, strengthening and conditioning costs, while Jain University has given him a scholarship to pursue MBA.
“Honestly, it is very hard to survive in a sport like swimming and pursue masters if you can’t get this kind of support,” he said. Siva is aiming at making an entry into the Indian squad for the forthcoming Asian Games in China. He is vying to make the qualification mark in 100m backstroke and needs to break the 55.8 seconds barrier to qualify.
“My personal best is 57.6 and I really want to represent India in 100m backstroke, along with Srihari Nataraj, who has already qualified,” he said.
In the women’s category, V Varsha from the University of Madras won the gold medal by clocking 4:59:63 minutes in 400 m freestyle swimming. In the hockey preliminary matches, Guru Nanak Dev University of Amritsar defeated VBS Purvanchal University of Jaunpur, UP by 4-1. In another match, Bangalore University defeated Lovely Professional University of Phagwara by a lead of 6-1.