Couple of day's work!
By: R K Bowrie
What irony. It took 25 years for a swimmer to rewrite the record books. And now, it has happened twice in two days.
Aditi Dhumatkar at the Goregaon Sports Club's swimming pool. PIC/RK Bowrie
Anita Sood, India's ace swimmer during the 1980's, set several records during her heyday, some of which remained intact till Saturday.
Then 16-year-old Aditi Dhumatkar eclipsed two of her marks at the GMAAA's senior and age group swimming championships, held at the Goregaon Sports Club swimming pool.
A second year student at St Andrew's College in Bandra, Aditi first bettered Sood's 23-year-old record in the 800 metres freestyle.
The next day, she went on to improve Anita's another 25-year-old record in the 400 metres freestyle event by almost 12 seconds.
In the end, she finished as the best woman swimmer with five gold medals in the meet, four of which were record-breaking efforts.
"With tougher competition, my timings could have been better," she said. Aditi also improved on another famous Otters Club swimmer Natalie Pedder's 200m butterfly stroke mark by almost four seconds. her favourite event.
Thanks to her elder sister, Gayatri, who herself was a junior national swimming champion, Aditi seriously took to the sport when she was seven.
"My sister inspired me to take to swimming," Aditi admitted.
"I love long distance swimming. I have been practising for hours at Khar Gymkhana, under coach Subodh Danke," she said.
Aditi emerged best during a recent 5-km swimming trials, organised by the Swimming Federation of India, around the Gateway of India, for selecting swimmers for October's Asian Open Water (Sea Swim) championships to be held in Indonesia.
At the last National meet in Amritsar, she ended with two gold medals (in the butterfly and 4 x200 freestyle relay events). Besides that, she had also claimed silver in 400m freestyle and a bronze in 1500m freestyle.
Aditi would have taken up tennis but now she hopes to pursue a career in swimming.
In that regard, she is very lucky to have someone like Michael Phelps to look up to. It's no wonder then that the Beijing wonder is her idol.