Khade, Sejwal set up new national records but fail to qualify

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Beijing, Aug 12 (UNI) Teenagers Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal created new national records in the 100m free-style and 200m breast-stroke respectively but failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the Olympic swimming competition here today.

The 17-year-old Khade clocked 50.17 sec to sink his own existing national record of 50.66 but finished overall 42nd in the field of 58 swimmers in the 100m free-style.

Sandeep Sejwal timed 2:15.24 to sink his own national mark of 2:18.23 in the 200m breast-stroke.

The Kolhapur-born Khade, possessing a strong physique, emerged as the leader of Heat 3 in which seven swimmers took part.

Khade, who had broken three national records in the World Youth Swimming Championships in Mexico recently, including Sebastian Xavier's 10-year-old national mark in the 50m free-style event, covered his first 50 metres in 23.95 secs and the next 50 in 23.95 secs to total his time to 50.07 thus setting another national record this year.

The 19-year old Sandeep Sejwal completed his Olympic assignment with a new national mark.

The Delhi-born swimmer proved that he is the best breast-stroke swimmer India has ever produced.

Sejwal was in Heat 1 alongwith five other swimmers and finished second with a time of 2:15.24 but ended up overall 36th in the field of 52 swimmers.

The Delhi swimmer clocked 30.26 sec in the first 50 meters, 34.02 sec for the next 50 and then had times of 34.87 sec and 36.09 sec for the next two stages of 50 meters each.

Coach Nihar Amin was thrilled with his boys showing,''The performance was wonderful, the best they could have done. They are young and have age on their side.'' About Sejwal, who shaved off three seconds of his previous national mark, the coach said,''he can produce such displays on his day but I am happy with both Khade and Sejwal's performance. It is a good sign for Indian swimming.'' UNI HSB AB BST2044

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