Asian Games 2023 Aquatics: India's best moments from previous Asian Games

Swimming Day Nine - 14th FINA World Championships
Sandeep Sejwal, the last Indian Swimmer to win a medal at Asian Games

Despite India’s lack of medals in aquatics at the Asian Games, the sport holds importance as it was where Sachin Nag won India’s first ever gold all the way back in 1951. India won a total of 10 medals in aquatics in that edition but has only been able to add a further 4 since the inaugural event held in New Delhi. As Asian Games 2023 start date comes closer, we have a look at India’s best moments in aquatics from previous Asian Games.

KP Thakkar winning Two Golds in Diving 1951.

KP Thakkar won two golds in the inaugural edition of the games held in 1951. Before the event became a synonym for Chinese dominance, KP Thakkar executed perfect dives in the 3m springboard category and the 10m platform to bring home two golds. The victory was made even sweeter for the nation when fellow diver Ashu Dutt bagged the silver in the 3m springboard alongside him and T.T. Dand joined Thakkar on the podium with a third-place finish in the 10m platform event. His third and last Asian Game medal came in 1954 which also was India’s last medal in the sport as of today. KP Thakkar was awarded the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2014 by the Government.

Sachin Nag’s Gold in 100m freestyle in 1951

Swimmer Sachin Nag won the 100m freestyle gold at the inaugural Asian Games held in New Delhi. The gold won by the Varanasi born swimmer was India’s first gold medal in the continental event. The gold won by Sachin Nag in 1951 is the only first position by an Indian swimmer at Asian Games till today. During the games he also won bronze in the 4x100m freestyle (with Bimal Chandra, Isaac Mansoor and Sambu Saha) and the 3x100m medley (with Kanti Shah and Jehangir Naigamwalla). Nag’s prowess in water was seen also in the Olympics where he represented India in Water Polo in the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics.

Virdhawal Khade’s Bronze in the 50-meter butterfly

Virdhawal Khade won bronze in the 50-meter butterfly event at the 2010 Asian Games ending India’s 24 year wait for a medal in swimming. With a time of 24.31s, the then 19-year-old managed to become the first Indian since Khajan Singh in 1986 to bring home a medal in swimming. Virdhawal Khade is an Olympian having participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He also participated in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where he missed out on a bronze in the 50m freestyle event by 0.01 seconds. Interestingly, the now veteran swimmer is also part of India’s squad for the Asian Games this year having been selected for the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle.

Sandeep Sejwal’s Bronze in the 2014 Asian Games

The latest Indian to win a medal at the Asian Games, Sandeep Sejwal won a bronze in the 50m breaststroke in the 2014 edition of the Asiad. The 34-year-old is the national record holder for the 50m, 100m, and the 200m races in the breaststroke category. He also competed in the 2018 edition in Jakarta but managed to only finish 7th. He is only the fourth Indian to win a swimming medal at the Asian Games. After retiring he has now turned towards coaching and is focusing on developing swimming as a sport in India.

Quick Links

Edited by Prathik BR
App download animated image Get the free App now