Lankan swimmers shatter 10 national records at World Championships

Friday, 12 December 2014 03:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Three Sri Lankan swimmers together shattered 10 Sri Lankan short course (25m) national records at the 12th FINA World Championships (25m) concluded in Doha, Qatar recently. All swimmers of the six-member contingent bettered their own personal best times at the championships held from 3 to 7 December, making it a successful participation for the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union. Matthew Abeysinghe erased the 50m backstroke held by Heshan Unamboowe along with two of his personal records, while Ryan Jasinghe established a hat-trick of records of the three breaststroke events including one established by his brother Ryan Jasinghe earlier during the year. In the women’s category Machiko Raheem established new records in all the four events swum by her, which included two of her personal records. The other members of the contingent Cherantha De Silva, Kimiko Raheem and Chamodi De Fonseka swam their personal best times in the majority of the events they participated. Manoj Abeysinghe accompanied the team as its head coach. The championship was also a new experience for the backstroke swimmers with the adoption of the new backstroke start device by FINA among the approval of some rule changes in other strokes. “The performance of our swimmers is creditable given the limited resources they train with and travel as a team. Elite teams that see their swimmers through to the semi-finals are equipped with access to facilities such as team physiotherapists, ice bath facilities and competitor analysis data. Given this I can say that our swimming has progressed greatly and all credit goes to their coaches,” said Akhry Ameer, General Secretary of SLASU who was also in Doha to attend the FINA Extraordinary Congress and the Aquatic Convention. FINA also held several other associated events on the sidelines of 12th FINA World Championships 2014. These included the Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic, a series of lectures from expert coaches on best practices that was attended by Shehaan Dias, coach of Rainbow Aquatics Club and the Sri Lanka Navy. A Youth Development Program aimed at creating competitive awareness and motivating the younger generation of swimmers was also hosted in association with Qatar Olympic Committee and was attended by swimmers Kyle Abeysinghe and Hiruni De Zoysa along with Mahi Chandralal as coach. The swimmers were exposed to training from several leading world coaches, motivational speeches from past Olympians and cultural visits in Doha. The Aquatic Convention comprised of lectures by suppliers to the industry and exhibitive stalls creating awareness and promoting latest developments within the industry. Several of the host cities for the upcoming championships till 2020 also made presentations and promoted their competition facilities. The swimmers having swum the 25m short course edition will be looking forward to qualification for the 50m long course edition when the 16th FINA World Championships takes place in Kazan from 24 July to 9 August 2015.