Participating at the National Aquatics Championship was an exhilarating experience - Indian swimmer Apeksha Fernandes
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Apeksha Fernandes is undoubtedly one of India’s brightest talents in swimming, the 16 year old recently took part in the Junior and Senior National Aquatic Championship, breaking many national records and winning a number of medals, including the Best Swimmer Individual Championship Trophy in the women's category.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Apeksha Fernandes speaks about her experience at the tournament, being awarded the best swimmer, her most special accomplishment, missing out on the national record in 100m butterfly, improving on her techniques and future goals.
Q 1) How was the experience of participating and winning medals at the Junior and Senior National Aquatics Championship?
It was exhilarating, especially because it was the first time I raced after the lockdown and having the adrenaline keeping you at an all time high was something I really missed. Since Mumbai was under lockdown for the better part of the year, I only got around three weeks to train for the meet, and coming back home with eleven medals and bagging the championship trophies of both the meets was nothing short of euphoric. Although I was exhausted after having raced both Junior and Senior Nationals within the span of two weeks, I would give anything to race the meet all over again
Q 2) You won the best swimmer individual championship trophy in the women’s category, how proud are you of that achievement?
In 2019, I missed a national record by one-hundredth of a second because of which I couldn’t win the championship. Racing with the established seniors was memorable; so, this year’s win was very satisfactory.
Q 3) You medaled in a number of races, which accomplishment was the most special for you and why?
Although I won a silver in both, the 100 fly and 50 breaststroke would be a tie for this one. At the Junior Nationals, my competitor and I fought to the very end for the gold in the 100 fly, and in the process pushed each other to get below the best Indian time for women and better our times. The 50 breaststroke at the Senior Nationals was probably the most exciting race I’ve swum this season because I usually don’t take the sprint races and racing against my senior who holds the best Indian time for the same event and narrowly coming second was a great experience. These were the most memorable races of the two meets
Q 4) You narrowly missed out on the national record for the 100 meters butterfly, is there something that made you feel you could have done better?
After reviewing the races a couple of times, I think I’d really have to work on the technical aspect of my strokes, turns and finishes.
Q 5) What are aspects of swimming that you still feel you can improve on and how are you working towards it?
I have to make a few changes in my butterfly and breaststroke where my technique is concerned. Apart from that, I also have to work on quicker turns and finishes and longer leaps for my dive.
Q 6) Which championships are you aiming to participate at in the foreseeable future? Do you expect similar amounts of success in them?
I wish to make the team for the Asian Games taking place in 2022, for which I will give my all and hope for the best.