Bengaluru, April 25 (IANS) Swimmer Siva Sridhar, who on Monday created a meet record in 200m individual medley to win the first gold medal for hosts Jain University at the ongoing Khelo India University Games (KIUG), said that the dominant performance has given him a fresh target for Asian Games qualification.
Sridhar won gold with a new meet record of 2:05.43 seconds while Rohit Benediction of Anna University finished second with a time of 2:12.33 and Siddhant Sejwal of Panjab University touched third clocking 2:14.70 seconds.
At the KIUG 2021, the Bengaluru swimmer is participating in 50m,100m, 200m backstroke, 200m, 400m IM, 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.
After a confident start, Siva has now set his sights on making the Indian swim team for the forthcoming Asian Games in China. He is vying to make the qualification mark in 100m backstroke. He needs to break the 55.8 seconds barrier to qualify.
“My personal best is 57.6 and I really want to represent India in 100m backstroke, along with Srihari Nataraj, who has already qualified,” Sridhar said.
“This is my target for the year. Today’s performance has given me confidence to work on the 200 IM event as well and I will look to make the cut (2:02.09 is the A qualifying time) in this event too for the Asian Games,” he added.
From a middle-class family, Siva has seen a fair share of financial struggles yet continues to keep his eyes firmly set on his targets for this year.
“With no earning member in the family after my father suffered a stroke last year and subsequently retired from his job, it has been tough to keep up with my ambitions in swimming because it is a financially demanding sport. But I have received substantial support from my training centre Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre,” the swimmer said.
“They take care of my training, strength and conditioning costs while Jain University has given me a scholarship to pursue MBA. Honestly, it is very hard to survive in a sport like swimming and pursue masters if you can’t get this kind of support,” he added.