Visually impaired swimmer Kanchanmala Pande made a historical moment for India on Thursday as she became the first Indian to win the gold medal in the World Para Swimming Championship.
She created ripples in the ongoing championship in Mexico and secured the top spot in 200 meters medley event in S-11 category.
Kanchanmala, who works with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was expecting a medal at Mexico but a gold medal was totally unexpected.
Kanchanmala, was the only Indian swimmer to qualify in the women’s category and was unfortunate to miss the podium finish in other events.
The 26-year-old, was selected in the Indian squad on the basis of her excellent performance at the IDM Berlin Para Swimming Championship held in July at Berlin, Germany.
“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 world championship is surprising. I am really very happy. At the same time, I don’t know how to express it in words,” Kanchanmala expressed her happiness to media after winning the medal.
Kanchanmala got 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 a silver 200m Individual Medley (3:03:00) against top para-athletes in Berlin.
Kanchanmala, who hails from Amravati , is a regular swimmer of Aqua Sports Club, Nagpur. She has been training under the able guidance of NIS coach Pravin Lamkhade, ASCA Level -1 Coach from the city Vishal Chandurkar and assistant coach Shashikant Chande.
Kanchanmala has a tremendous support of her husband Vinod Dekhmukh, who always supports her in each of her endeavour. The swimmer thanked RBI, Nagpur; Sport Ministry of India, Sports Authority of India (SAI); Paralympic Committee of India (PCI); GoSports and all well wishers.