After record-shattering displays, swimmer Aryan Nehra eyes Asiad medal

Nehra is training with the Florida Gators swimming team of the University of Florida in the USA when he is not breaking records in the nationals.
Aryan Nehra
Aryan Nehra

CHENNAI: After a successful outing at the Senior National Aquatic Championship in Hyderabad, swimmer Aryan Nehra has his eyes set on the Asian Games and World Championships. The 19-year-old broke four records and bagged the best swimmer award in the men’s category.

Nehra booked an Asian Games spot in the men’s 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle events at the TYR Pro Swim Series 2023 in April. With the event in Hangzhou two months away, he is looking forward to the challenge. “The real focus is at the Asian Games. I think that is where I am hopeful to make it to the finals. And after that try and sneak onto that podium,” Nehra told this daily. 

Before heading to the quadrennial event, Nehra will represent India at the World Championship in Japan starting on July 14. “The goal is to swim my personal best in the World event. (It will be) practice race for me at that level, in those arenas and under that pressure. It will help me get ready for the Asiad,” he added.

Along with the 800m and 1500m events in Hyderabad, Nehra broke the national record in the 400m medley and 400m freestyle, helping him bag four gold medals — most by any player in this edition. 

Nehra is training with the Florida Gators swimming team of the University of Florida in the USA when he is not breaking records in the nationals. “The facilities and resources an athlete need to perform have been there for a long time (In the USA). Now those facilities are being made available even here in the country. It is providing many opportunities to many people closer to home,” Nehra insisted. 

Bellary-based Inspire Institute of Sport has supported Nehra, and Rushdee Warley, CEO of IIS, believes swimming has the potential to bring more Olympics medals for India in the near future. “If India has to be competitive at the Olympics, we have to be competitive in swimming. And in order to do that, we have to grow the base of swimming,” Warley said. 

“Aryan has done fantastically well this week. He has been a role model for many young kids out there. It’s very important that we start developing those young kids. We are committed to that,” Warley concluded. 

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