THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:On a day when SN College, Chempazhanthy, proved that they are the undisputed leaders of the swimming pool, it was Arathy S who propelled them beyond challenge from any competition, winning three gold medals for the college on the second day of the 9th College Games 2015 at International Aquatics Complex, Pirappancode here, on Thursday.
Arathy won her first gold in 300-metre individual medley, recording a timing of 2 minutes, 45 seconds, while her second yellow metal was bagged in the 50-metre breast stroke with a timing of 38 seconds. She capped off an excellent day by winning the women’s 4x100 metre relay with her college mates Greeshma P, Swathi Sundar M and Manya Manoharan.
“I am happy to have won gold in all three events that I participated in today,” said an ecstatic Arathy, 18 years of age. The young swimmer is one among a group of promising young swimmers training at the Kerala State Sports Council’s sports hostel based at the Pirappancode facility.
Arathy joined the Sports Council as a sixth standard student back in 2008 and has not looked back since. She started out by representing Kerala in the National School Games, followed by the swimming junior nationals, sweeping medals along the way.
“I have had help from many coaches throughout my career. But, for this achievement, I have much to thank my present coaches at the Kerala State Sports Council hostel Vinod and Shiny V S,” said Arathy, a first year BA Sociology student at SN College.
Growing up near Pirappancode, it was her mother who urged Arathy to take up the sport of swimming. When she made up her mind, her grandfather took her to the pool where she learnt the first lessons of swimming.
“At first, I never thought I would make a career out of it and at the most, it was a pastime for me. But when I was selected to the sports hostel in 2008, everything changed and I started taking swimming as a profession,” reminisced the swimmer.
In her fledgling career, the 18-year-old has also represented Kerala thrice in the Senior National Aquatics Championships. Her first senior nationals at Pune in 2013 was not much of a fruitful one, but she has been among medals in the two nationals after that.
In Kolkata, she won a team bronze in 4x100 metre relay, while at Thiruvananthapuram nationals, in the pool she learnt the sport, Arathy struck bronze in 200-metre breast stroke and made the event even more memorable for her by winning another bronze in the 4x100 metre relay for the Kerala team.
Arathy will now be hoping to build on her performance in the College Games for tasting more success in the senior level. “Such achievements are always a confidence-booster,” she said.