Virdhawal Khade confident of winning Asian Games medal

The young swimmer hopes to utilise the upcoming Commonwealth Games as a good platform to test himself.

Virdhawal Khade, who hails from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, also said that he is very positive for a podium finish at the Asian Games. (File Photo)   -  S. MAHINSHA

Young swimmer Virdhawal Khade, who is gearing up for the April’s Commonwealth Games (CWG), says the Gold Coast event will give him a sense of his preparations for the challenging Asian Games ahead.

Khade, who had become youngest Indian to swimmer to qualify for Olympics in 2008, at the age of 16, had won a bronze medal, at 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

“I will be participating in the Commonwealth Games, in 50m freestyle and butterfly. Training has been going very well, since the past few months, and I am keeping an eye on medal, at the Asian Games. I am sure that the Commonwealth games will give me a good platform to test myself, and prepare for the Asian Games,” Khade said.

Khade, who hails from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, is confident of a podium finish at the Asian Games. “I am very positive about winning a medal in Jakarta. Training has been going well, and it’s a matter of only a few micro-seconds, which I am positive of shaving off in the coming months, to get into the medal bracket,” said the 26-year-old.

READ: Teen swimmer Srihari Nataraj all set for CWG

According to Khade, improving by less than half a second, in both his pet events, will fetch him a second medal at the Continental games. Khade, a government officer, had taken a break from his training, due to his posting in coastal Konkan region of the state, and admits that it becomes difficult to cover the lost ground.

Asked how he was able to cope up after the break, he said, “Taking a big break from a sport is definitely not ideal. It has been difficult to cover up lost ground, and then improve from there. However, in the past few weeks, things have been very positive for me. Training has been going well, and I feel I will be at my best ever, at the Asian Games.”

Khade recently bagged a silver medal in the 50 meters freestyle, at the 49th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championship, in the senior’s category, and is now managed by Square Off Sports Team.

It has been learnt that the Swimming Federation of India has also selected Shrihari Nartaj and Sajjan Prakash, apart from Khade, to represent India at the Commonwealth Games.