By Our Sports Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 24, 2018
Olympic swimmer and Arjuna Awardee Virdhawal Khade became the latest entrant to Team Speedo. By joining Team Speedo, Virdhawal will be supported and sponsored by the swimwear brand at all the leading swimming leagues.
Virdhawal Khade is India’s fastest swimmer today, and will be representing the country in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in April 2018. Virdhawal started swimming at a very young age in his hometown of Kolhapur and slowly began beating India’s elite senior swimmers at various local, inter-city and inter-state meets, setting a National Record for 200m freestyle.
At 15 years of age, Virdhawal entered a different league of swimmers, emerging clearly as one of country’s brightest sporting talents, when he became the youngest Indian, ever, to qualify to swim the Olympics for the country. He was also the youngest athlete in the Indian contingent at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He created history yet again, by becoming the first Indian swimmer to win a medal at the Asian Games after 24 years.
In 2011, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport in India, Virdhawal received the Arjuna Award from the President of India. At age 17, Virdhawal was the most decorated athlete at the Commonwealth Games in Pune, winning three Gold and three Silver medals, while setting four new National Records. At this point he was the fastest swimmer in the world in the under-18 category for 100 m freestyle and the first Indian swimmer to break into the top 50 FINA world rankings.
Now 26, Virdhawal is training to compete for India at the forthcoming Asian Games, Commonweath Games in 2018 and the Olympics in 2020. An exemplary youth icon Virdhawal Khade’s very inspiring story is also a part of the class 10 syllabus in Maharashtra state schools.
Commenting on this association Virdhawal said, “It’s great to have the support of a leading swimwear brand like Speedo. India today is producing some great swimming talent and to have the support of a brand like Speedo can go a long way in nurturing and motivating the swimmers to put their best stroke forward.”
Shamir Genomal, Chief Strategy Officer at Speedo India, responding to Virdhawal said, “Speedo supports a fantastic group of competitive swimming athletes who have worked hard to become some of their countries’ biggest swim stars. In addition to encouraging the swimmers’ efforts towards qualifying for the next edition of the Olympics in 2020, Speedo India will also sponsor these athletes to ensure they reach greater heights. It’s fantastic for Speedo to be associated with such an exceptional talent like Virdhawal Khade who truly stands in a league of his own. We look forward to supporting him for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and hope to see him win big!”
Speedo has been an industry leader in swimwear right since its inception and has given countless breakthrough technologies in fabric and design for its swimwear range. Today, using technology created for the world’s top swimmers, Speedo brings performance, comfort and style to all who enter the water, whether racing for a record finish, swimming laps for better health or making memories at the beach.