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Indian swimmers sink without trace

December 05, 2006 18:46 IST
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India's swimmers' embarrassing show continued at the Asian Games on Tuesday, as they failed to qualify in any of the three events they figured in.

The fact that the field was strong cannot be an excuse for the Indians, who came in full strength to Doha, knowing fully well the high quality of the opposition. They performed so badly that no trace of their participation is visible.

In the men's 50m butterfly heat two, Ankur Poseria clocked 25.92 seconds to finish first among the eight swimmers, and despite leading the heat it was so poor a timing that he failed to qualify.

Virdhaval Khade was in heat four of the same event and he ended up sixth in the eight-swimmer field, timing 25.59 seconds, which was a whopping 0.91 more than heat winner China's Dong Wang's time of 24.68 seconds.

In the 100m backstroke (heat three), national champion Arjun Murlidharan finished last in the seven-member field. He clocked 1:01.64 second.

The heat was won by Japan's Junichi Miyashita, who timed 55.95. The difference between the winner and the Indian was a staggering 5.69 seconds.

Murlidharan took 29.35s to cross his first fifty and clocked 32.29s for his next fifty.

Meanwhile, Rehan Poncha continued with his dismal show. The Bangalore-based swimmer finished fifth among the six in heat two of the 400m freestyle.

Poncha timed 4:07.22s. The heat was won by China's Lin Zhang, who returned a time of 3:54.09s, the difference between the winner and the Indian being 13.63 secs.

As if it was not enough, Indians also appeared in the 4 x100m freestyle relay and the quartet of Virdhaval Khade, Rehan Poncha, Arjun Murlidharan and Ankur Poseria timed 3:35.94 to be placed sixth among seven teams.

Japan, with a time 3:25.55s, won the heat.

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