World Para Swimming Championship | Kanchanmala becomes first Indian to win gold

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World Para Swimming Championship | Kanchanmala becomes first Indian to win gold

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SportsCafe Desk


Kanchanmala Pande has created history by becoming the first Indian to win the gold medal at the World Para Swimming Championship in Mexico. Pande has stated that she was expecting a medal in the championship but a gold medal was totally unexpected after missing out on medals in other events.

Nagpur’s visually impaired swimmer Pande, who works with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), secured a top spot in 200 meters medley event in the S-11 category, on Thursday. She was the only Indian swimmer who qualified in the women's category but unfortunately, she missed the podium finish in other events. The 26-year-old missed the top three finish by a small margin in 100 meters freestyle and finished fourth. She was fifth fastest in 100 meters breaststroke and backstroke.

"I had prepared well for the World Championship. I was expecting a good show in Mexico and also a medal. But, securing the top position and a gold medal at the world championship is surprising. I am really very happy. At the same time, I don't know how to express it in words," Pande told TOI after winning the medal.

Her brilliant performance at the IDM Berlin Para Swimming Championship held in July at Berlin, Germany, helped her secure a place in the Indian squad after winning a silver medal in a 200m individual medley. Pande qualified for the World Championships in Mexico after she beat the qualifying mark in 100m Freestyle (1:34:00), 100m Backstroke (1:41:00), 100m Breaststroke (2:01:00) and 200m Individual Medley (3:03:00) against top para-athletes in Berlin.

During the Berlin event, she was forced to borrow money and was fined as she was traveling without a ticket on public transport because she was not given enough financial support by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI). But this incident failed to affect her determination which she successfully showed on the international level.

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