Saturday, May 31, 2008

Virdhawal Khade strikes it rich at the Malaysia Open and qualifies for the Beijing Olympic Games in two more events

Virdhawal Khade, who last year became the first and the youngest swimmer – at the age of 15yrs – to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games, went on to strike it rich by winning three gold medals (with new records) – 50, 100m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly – and two silver medals – 200 and 400m Freestyle – at the 51st MILO/PRAM Malaysia Invitation Open at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1-4th May 2008.

Virdhawal, who was competing in the latest Speedo LZR Racer full body swim suit, went on to become the first Indian swimmer to swim faster than the Olympic Qualifying time in three events the 50, 100 and 200m Freestyle.

Commenting on the LZR Racer Virdhawal said, “I felt really good in it. The suit held me really firm giving me solid core stability. I felt like a spear in the water and it made me more confident of swimming fast”.

He also created new National records in four out of the five events he took part in – 100, 200 and 400m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly.

His times were:
50m Freestyle – 23.03sec (Gold, Meet Record)
100m Freestyle – 50.66sec (Gold, Meet Record and National Record)
200m Freestyle – 1min 51.65sec (Silver, National Record)
400m Freestyle – 4min 01.87sec (Silver, National Record)
50m Butterfly – 24.91sec (Gold, Meet Record and National Record)

For Virdhawal, this meet came at the end of a three month training stint in Australia where he trained under his coach Nihar Ameen at The Southport School. Virdhawal and Nihar’s training and competition costs were sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports under the National Sports Development Fund and Mittal Champions Trust respectively.

Virdhawal will next be seen in action at the 4th Singapore National Swimming Championships from 4-8th June at the Singapore Sports School. This will be a train-through meet for him in lead up to FINA World Youth Swimming Championships in Monterrey, Mexico in July.

Friday, March 21, 2008


March 13, 2008 – SPEEDO, the world’s leading swimwear brand, has today announced the signing of Virdhawal Khade, India’s 16-year-old champion swimmer and, so far, the only Indian swimmer to have qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games, 2008.
Khade will be Speedo’s first global brand ambassador from India and the contract will run through to the Olympic Games later this year. The association between the champion swimmer and Speedo comes following his impressive performances over the last couple of years, which included Olympic qualification at age 15 and his toppling of numerous age-group and senior Indian national records. The talented swimmer is poised to be a major medal contender at the World Youth Swimming Championships in Monterrey, Mexico in July this year and scheduled to participate in the Beijing Olympics.

Khade, currently training in Australia said, "SPEEDO is my favorite brand of swimwear and I am very happy to endorse the brand. Having access to the world's best swimming equipment and gear will give me the edge I need to win at the highest levels. I will also be a part of Team SPEEDO and this will give me the opportunity to work with some of the finest swimmers and coaches in the world. This is a great motivation to train harder and make my country proud."

Celia Muir, Worldwide Head of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship at SPEEDO, said “Virdhawal has already established himself as an outstanding swimmer in India and has a long, bright future ahead of him. He will be a great ambassador for Speedo as he is already for the sport of swimming and we look forward to seeing him build what we believe will be an impressive career throughout the coming years.”

Speaking on the Occasion, Mr R. D. Singh, CEO, Planet Sports said, “Virdhawal Khade is a best choice to represent the SPEEDO Brand in India as both of them complement each other. SPEEDO with its aggressive brand positioning strategy timely engages best brand endorsers to maintain itself as a most preferred swimwear brand around the globe.”
Speedo, has an exclusive marketing tie-up with Planet Sports for its product categories retailing and marketing support in India.

Hakimuddin S. Habibulla, Director at GoSports, who is an Olympic Swimmer and Virdhawal's manager said, "2008 is a crucial year for Virdhawal and Speedo's support could not have come at a better time. He is young and has what it takes to be amongst the best in the world. SPEEDO's association with Virdhawal will go a long way in motivating kids all over India who dream of success in the swimming pool. At GoSports we are excited to have facilitated this relationship between a world-class brand and a world-class athlete."

Click here for the official press release.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Virdhawal Khade @ 2008 Zoggs Queensland Sprint Championships

Virdhawal Khade (Veer) took part in his first competition in Australia - 2008 Zoggs Queensland Sprint Championships - last weekend (9/02/2008 to 10/02/2008). This meet consisted of only 50m events of all the strokes for the following age-groups:9yrs, 10yrs, 11yrs, 12yrs, 13yrs, 14yrs, 15yrs, 16yrs, 17/18yrs & Open

This is one of the many preparatory weekend meets he will be swimming. He represented India in this meet.

On Day 1, Veer won a gold in the 50m Butterfly (16yrs) with a time of 25.75sec.

On Day 2, Veer continued to show good form winning two bronze medals. This is taking into consideration that he had to race eight times (as each Open event has Prelims, Semi-finals and Finals and Age-group event has Prelims and Finals).

Veer's first bronze medal came in the 50m Butterfly (Open) with a time of 25.83 and his second bronze medal came in the 50m Freestyle (16yrs) with a time of 24.08. Veer finished 5th in finals of the 50m Freestyle (Open).

Overall the meet was great for Veer and his times are excellent considering that he is in the middle of hard training.

Click here for the full results.

Click here for the photos of the meet.

Virdhawal training in Australia

Virdhawal Khade is currently in Australia on a three month training stint at The Southport School, Queensland in preparation for an important year ahead – which includes the Beijing Olympic Games (in August), FINA World Youth Swimming Championships (at Monterrey, Mexico in July) and last but not the least Commonwealth Youth Games (at Pune in October).

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports through the National Sports Development Fund has funded Veer’s training.

The British Swimming Team has chosen The Southport School as their offshore training center and they are currently grooming the best of their age-group swimmers for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Veer currently has a great combination going for him i.e. good facilities, fast swimmers to train with and his coach, Nihar Ameen, by his side. Nihar’s presence is going to be a huge comfort factor for Veer as it is his first training stint abroad.

While in Australia, Veer will compete in three big meets – 2008 Telstra Australian Swimming Championships (at Sydney in the end of March; this meet is also the Australian Olympic trials), 2008 Australian Age Championships (at Brisbane in the beginning of April) and 2008 Telstra Grand Prix 1 (at Canberra in the end of April) – along with many local weekend competitions that will serve as good opportunities to get up and race. The first and the third meet are designated Olympic qualifying meets and Veer is looking forward to qualifying in more events - the 50m and 100m Freestyle Olympic qualifying times (B-Qualifying time) are well within his reach.

Go Veer Go!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wrap of 2007

Virdhawal Khade ("Veer") is one of the country's most exciting young sportspersons. In 2007, at the age of 15, he qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games in the 200m Freestyle and in the process became the youngest-ever Indian swimmer to qualify for the Olympics. He is thus far the only Indian swimmer to have guaranteed himself a trip to Beijing.

In early 2007, Veer ruled the pool at the Guwahati National Games winning six individual gold medals with five new records. He holds the National Record in the 100 and 200m Freestyle with a time of 51.41sec and 1:52.41sec respectively. He is amongst the fastest in the world for his age and has been nominated by the national press as one of India's top sporting prospects.

Veer ended 2007 with a fitness training stint in South Africa, courtesy the Mittal Champions Trust, and will soon embark on a couple of 3-month sojourns in Australia and USA for international training and competition, courtesy the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. His target-meets for 2008 include the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships at Monterrey, Mexico in July and the Commonwealth Youth Games at Pune in October where we are confident he will do the country proud. The Beijing Olympic Games in August will give him a platform to pit his skills against the best senior swimmers in the world.

Veer is currently funded by the Mittal Champions Trust and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Go Veer Go!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007