Bengaluru: Bengaluru is all set to host Asia’s largest aquatic championships with more than 1000 participants from 26 countries descending on the IT city of India for the 10th AASF Asian Age Group Championships to begin on 24 September 2019.
With the largest foreign contingent of 79 participants, Kazakstan will arrive in Bengaluru on Saturday while a 57-member contingent from China will arrive over the weekend. Chinese Taipei with 43 participants, Hong Kong with 59 participants, Japan with 66 participants taking part in swimming, diving, water polo and artistic swimming will also arrive over the weekend.
The 9-day Championships which is a Qualifying Event for 2020 Tokyo Olympics will also witness countries such as Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh and also Syria vying for top honours.
“We are extremely elated to welcome these young athletes to Bengaluru which is hosting this prestigious event for the first time. We have over 300 volunteers assigned to various duties to ensure smooth execution of the event. Our officials have been working tirelessly over the past three months to ensure all these participants have a wonderful experience during this event. All the venues have been set-up meticulously to ensure international standards are met and we are geared up for successful conduct of the event,” stated Gopal B Hosur, IPS (Retd) who is the President of the Organising Committee.
Olympian Sajan Prakash who will be leading India’s charge in the event along with the likes of sprint sensation Virdhawal Khade, Srihari Nataraj among other Indian swimmers said this event will be a great opportunity for youngsters to shine in front of the home crowd. “Bengaluru has been the hub for swimming in India and every Indian swimmer aspires to train in this city and to have this prestigious event here only means that it’s a great opportunity for all of us to give our best and ensure a big medal haul for the home country. Beyond winning medals, this is also a golden opportunity for Indian swimmers to try and make the ‘A’ cut to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics” stated Sajan Prakash, who holds the best Indian performance record in the 100m and 200m butterfly event.
In the previous edition, India won a total of 40 medals in Swimming with 5 Gold, 13 Silver and 22 Bronze Medals while in Diving India won 3 Gold, two Silver and three Bronze Medals.
The event venues will be spread across the city with Swimming events being held at Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence from 24th to 27th September 2019, Water Polo will be held at the Sports Authority of India, Kengeri from 24th September to 30th September 2019, Diving will be held at the Sports Authority of India, Kengeri from 29th September to 2nd October 2019 and Artistic swimming will be held at the Kensington Swimming Pool, Ulsoor from 29th September to 2nd October 2019.
The Championships will see participants in the open category (18 years and above), as well as Age Groups I (15-17 years) and II (14 years and below).