Among the other sporting distinctions that Bengaluru has, being the nerve centre of Indian swimming is also one. The city possesses by far the best infrastructure for swimming events and training. It is as a result of this that the 10th Asian Age Group Championships – an event organised under the auspices of Asia Swimming Federation – will take place in the city from September 24 – October 2, 2019.
What makes this tournament more special is the fact that it has been designated by FINA as an Olympic qualifying event. This means that the Indian swimmers will have a great opportunity on their home turf, or more aptly in their home pools, to enter the big league of world swimming.
It will also be an event that will see participation on a much bigger scale than some of the previous editions. Representatives of 40 countries would be taking part, amounting to more than 1200 participants. All the major aquatic disciplines would be held – swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo.
Three venues have been chosen for these events. The Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence will host swimming events while water polo will be held at Sports Authority of India centre. The latter venue will also host diving. The third venue for this sporting bonanza would be Kensington Swimming Pool in Ulsoor.
Virendra Nanavati, Vice President of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), expressed his happiness at India getting the chance to host this event. "This is a very crucial period for the Indian swimmers as some of them are vying for the 'A' Qualification mark for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"At the recent FINA World Championships we had a good participation with six swimmers, four Open Water swimmers and one diver qualifying to take part and some of them even improved the best Indian Performance record. Good show here at the 10th AASF Asian Age Group Championships Bengaluru 2019 will put them in good stead to make the qualification mark for the forthcoming Olympics," he concluded by saying.
Indeed, it would be a great opportunity for people of Bengaluru to enjoy top-level aquatic contests and for the local players to make a mark.