Swimmer Gowda ready for Asiad challenge 

With the Asian Games less than a month away, Gowda has goals set for himself.
Aneesh Gowda | special arrangement
Aneesh Gowda | special arrangement

CHENNAI: Along with notable alumni and some of the best courses available in the country, Bengaluru's Christ University is famous for its strict regulations regarding attendance. When Aneesh Gowda, a member of the Indian swimming squad for the Asian Games and a second-year LLB student, joined the University, this was one of the challenges for the young athlete. But, things are changing now.

"Christ University is known to be a strict college with their attendance," Gowda told this daily. "After I joined, I explained to them that I could manage, I just needed some holidays here and there so that I could train and go for competitions and camps. I think they understood. So after that, they have supported me," he laughs.

And why wouldn't one of the best universities in the World tweak a few rules for one of their finest athletes? For the last few years, Gowda has been among the medals at the national events, including National Swimming Championships and National Games. Now, with the Asian Games, the 18-year-old will get an opportunity to be part of the largest Indian swimming contingent. It was the Senior National Aquatic Championships in Hyderabad earlier this year that opened the door for him.

"This was my third senior national, so I have been familiar with the senior level. But this one in Hyderabad was important because it was the last qualifying meet for the Asian games. Everybody came and they performed well. We had lots of national records going. I performed well from the start but didn't get selected. But on the last day, I came second in the 200m freestyle and I got into the squad. After I found out about my selection, I was ecstatic and thankful to everyone who supported me along the way.To know I'll be going with Team India to Asian games felt like a huge thing," he said.

In the same tournament that helped Gowda secure his position for the Asian Games, Karnataka bagged both men's and women's team championships, taking their dominance at the nationals to a new level. Even in the Asian Games squad, eight members are from Karnataka. Gowda believes the facilities and history are the motivation factors for the swimmers to come on top. "Facilities make a difference. There are almost eight Olympic-sized pools just in Bengaluru and there are multiple 25m pools as well. It is really hard to find facilities to practice. So I think the availability is making us better than other states. You can say that the heritage also pushes us to do better," humble Gowda added.

With the Asian Games less than a month away, Gowda has goals set for himself. "I want to give my best in my events in terms of timings and see where that goes. Hopefully, we get selected for the finals. I can't say where I will finish, but have been giving my all in training and hopefully, it will turn out good in the Asian Games," he signed off. 

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