On a record-breaking day, 24-year-old Chandigarh swimmer Chahat Arora broke the women’s 100m breaststroke national record twice, first in heats and then in the final, to claim the gold medal in the 75th Senior National Swimming Championship in Guwahati on Saturday. Arora, who first broke the earlier national record of one minute and 14.87 seconds of Saloni Dalal set in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018 with a timing of one minute and 14.38 seconds in the 100m breaststroke heats on Sunday, won the gold medal by bettering her new national record with a timing of one minute and 13.61 seconds on Sunday evening. Earlier, Arora also won the silver medal in women’s 200m breaststroke and Saturday’s medal meant that she has now won three medals in the nationals.
“It’s a special moment for me to break the national record in women’s 100m breaststroke event twice in a day. My earlier best timing was one minute and 14.42 seconds and to improve it first in the heats and then in the final again to make a new national record made it special. Conditions were a bit humid as the weather was a bit rough here but to make the national record will motivate me a lot,” said Arora while speaking with The Indian Express from Guwahati.
Arora first hogged the limelight when she became the national champion in the 50m breaststroke event in the Senior Nationals in 2016 before she won a bronze in the 100m breaststroke event in South Asian Games in Guwahati the same year. Arora, who was part of the bronze medal winning 4X100 medley relay Indian team in Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in Tashkent in 2017, also won the silver medal in the 2019 edition of the tournament. The same year, Arora won the 50m breaststroke champion in South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal, with a new national record. Earlier this week, Arora had created a new national record in the women’s 50m breaststroke event at Guwahati with a record timing of 32.94 seconds in heats before she won the gold medal in the event with a timing of 33.22 in the final to claim the gold medal. The national record in 50m breaststroke event meant that Arora became the first Indian woman to enter the 32 seconds bracket in the event.
“The opening day national record in the 50m breaststroke heats meant that whatever I was targeting in these nationals was on point and to win the gold on the opening day made me believe that I am on the right track. The last one year has seen me training under my coach Sandeep Sejwal and my next target would be the upcoming National Games,” said Arora.