Swimmer Kanchanmala Pande is visually impaired but that did not stop her from scripting history. On Thursday (Dec 7), the Maharashtra athlete became the first Indian to win gold at the World Para Swimming Championship. The tournament is taking place in Mexico.

An employee at Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Pande came first in the in 200 metre medley event in S-11 category. Following the win, an elated Pande said that she knew she’d be clinching one medal at least, but never thought she would clinch a gold.

She was quoted by Times of India as saying, “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.”

Pande, who hails from Amravati, was the only Indian swimmer to qualify in the women’s category

READ: Visually Impaired Swimmer Eyes Paralympic Gold In Tokyo 2020

Even though she couldn’t participate in 100 metre freestyle and podium finish in other events, she claimed the honour of being the fifth fastest in 100 metre breaststroke and backstroke.

Back in July, the 26-year-old para athlete showed her incredible performance at the IDM Berlin Para Swimming Championship. Thus she got selected in the Indian squad. However, due to financial crisis, the athlete had to borrow money and was fined for travelling without a ticket on public transport after she was denied enough money by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).

 

She fought all the odds and finally it paid off. We salute Pande’s zest for her loved sport and wish her all the best. Way to go, Kanchanmala!

READ: Are women rewriting India’s sports history?

Feature Image Credit: TOI

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