Apeksha Fernandes becomes first to Indian to reach finals at FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2022
The finals of the World Junior Swimming Championships will include Apeksha Fernandes of India as she made it to the last eight of women's 200m butterfly. Srihari Nataraj, who placed sixth in 50-meter backstroke event at the 2019 World Juniors, is the only other Indian to have advanced to the finals.
In two days, the 18-year-old smashed the record three times while improving his own times each time. Meanwhile, Fernandes qualified for the final after finishing eighth overall and fourth in the heats with a pace of 2:18:18. Coincidentally, the time resulted in a new record for the country. Prior to this, Apeksha set the record in the junior nationals in June 2022, clocking in at 2:18:39.
The Maharashtra native set five new National Records (Best Indian Performance) at the Junior Nationals in a span of just two days. If the heats of the nationals are taken into account, Apeksha has already broken seven national records in her past 11 races.
In the future days of the tournament, she will also compete in the 100m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke events. Vedaant Madhavan, another elite swimmer, was forced to withdraw from his 200-meter freestyle heats after losing his balance and falling into the water.