According to me:
Best Swimmer (Male): Sandeep Sejwal – based on the quality of his swims. He dominated all his events – 50, 100, 200m Breaststroke – and came closer to qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics despite racing only himself.
Best Swimmer (Female): It’s a tie between Shikha Tandon and Richa Mishra. Both swam well in their respective events.
Biggest event: 200m Butterfly (Men) – It was a high pressure event and Arjun Muralidharan showed that he could handle it better than the others and use it to get the best out of him. The same event also brought the best out of Aaron D’Souza; WATCH OUT for him in the coming months.
Most improvement: Rehan Poncha – he is in the best form of his life and dominated all his main events. He is still at quite a distance from the Olympic qualifying times, but definitely in the right direction.
Big Swim: Shikha Tandon – her sub-27 50m Freestyle was big, especially psychologically, as she slowly climbs towards the qualifying time. She had been stuck at this hurdle for a while. I am sure the goal of 26.32 must seem so much closer.
Tough racer: Richa Mishra – a girl of few words lets her swimming do the talking. She is one of the toughest on the block and has her sights set on Beijing.
Upcoming Swimmer: Aaron D’Souza – He finished with one gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Ironically his best swim came in the event in which he won bronze. He has shown versatility by swimming events from the 100-1500m Freestyle.
Also watch out for M B Balakrishnan who won the 100m Backstroke.
Most missed: Virdhawal Khade – It was unfortunate that he had to miss the meet due to his 10th board exams that begin in a week (small price to pay for missing the exams in March and getting qualified to the 2008 Beijing Olympics). He would surely have liked to add to the fireworks in the pool.
Biggest Irony: Goa being the host state and having an amazing swim complex - containing a 50m and 25m even depth pool, a separate diving pool and a separate kids pool - had only one swimmer, Talasha Prabhu, who made it to the finals.
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