Category: Swimming

Aryan Makhija wins Gold in South Africa; sets new national record

Durban, South Africa: JSW Sports-supported swimmer Aryan Makhija claimed Gold in the 1500 m freestyle event (short course) at the Seagulls Winter Short Course Championship with a 15:21.99 finish in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday. The time, which beats the previous Indian national record held by Sanu Debnath, set at the World Short Course Championships in 2014, is subject to ratification from the Swimming Federation of India.

 

“Aryan has been working really hard in training since the Youth Commonwealth Games and I’m very proud of what he’s achieved here. There’s a long way to go for this boy and I’m sure he will improve going forward in his career,” said Graham Hill, JSW Sports’ Head Coach for swimming.

Seventeen-year-old Aryan finished 27.29 seconds ahead of second place Luan Grobbelaar (15.49.28) and 32.78 seconds ahead of Dante Nortje, who came in third with a time of 15.54.03. The finish beats Debnath’s short course (25 m pool) record of 16:05.63, which stood for over three years.

“Aryan’s hard work and determination is showing with results like these. He has been consistent in bettering his timings and we are confident he will go on to achieve bigger results for India in the swimming pool,” said Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports.

Makhija had claimed three medals at the South African Junior Nationals earlier this year, with his previous best time of 16:05.64, which had beaten the qualification standard set by the Swimming Federation of India for the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Two Golds for Aryan at South African Junior Nationals

Durban, South Africa: Swimmer Aryan Makhija claimed his third medal at the South African Junior Nationals with a win in the 1500 m freestyle event at the King’s Park Swimming Pool, in Durban, South Africa, on Monday. Makhija’s time of 16:05.64 beats the qualification standard set by the Swimming Federation of India for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held in Bahamas, in July.

“Aryan has been working really hard as it was his main aim to beat the qualification time since it was announced by the Swimming Federation of India. I’m very proud of what he’s achieved and I’m sure he will continue to improve and go on to even higher levels of performance,” said JSW Sports’ Swimming Head Coach, Graham Hill, who also serves as coach for Swimming South Africa.

South Africa’s James Freeman (16:05.85) finished second while Andrew Ritchie (16:25.73) claimed third in a race that was tightly contested right from the start between the 17-year-old Makhija and Freeman, who represented the University of Pretoria.

A two-horse race for most parts, at the 500 meter mark, Freeman clocked in at 5:22.22 while Makhija was close behind at 5:22.44. Mumbai-born Aryan made his move in the second 500 meter stretch, clocking in at 1000 meters with a 1.72 second lead over Freeman. The final stretch saw Freeman move within 1.36 seconds of Makhija with 50 meters to cover, but it wasn’t to be for the South African.

Aryan’s finish beats the Swimming Federation of India’s qualification time of 16:06.06 (based on the third place finish at the previous Commonwealth Youth Games) by 0.42 seconds and the youngster expressed his happiness at having recorded the feat.

“I’m really happy to have claimed three medals, but more so to have beaten the qualification time for the Commonwealth Youth Games. Graham sir has been pushing me to work harder every day and I have to thank him and the JSW Sports family for all their support,” Makhija said.

Earlier, Aryan had claimed Silver in the 200 metre freestyle event with a time of 1:56.51 and Gold in the 400m freestyle clocking in at 4:05.15.