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Rajkot (Gujarat) [India], October 6 (ANI): Even after getting the better of the redoubtable Sajan Prakash in the 200m Freestyle gold and the immensely talented Aryan Nehra, that too while setting a new meet record, Karnataka's teenaged swimming sensation Aneesh S Gowda remains modest."I am just happy that I got the opportunity to take part in the National Games here. Some months ago, I would not even have imagined racing against Sajan (Prakash) Anna, Advait (Page) and Aryan (Nehra)," he said, referring to the initiative taken by the Prime Minister to resume India's most important sporting event."I am grateful that I got the opportunity to race against the nation's best swimmers and learn from them," Aneesh Gowda said.The youngster articulates his thoughts lucidly. "I don't think it would be wrong to say that the value of my 1500m Freestyle bronze here is higher than the gold in the National championships simply because I got to race with the likes of Advait and Aryan. There are so many learnings already and these would not have come so soon without the National Games," he said."Similarly, I was pleased that I was only a second off my personal best time when finishing fifth in the 400m Individual Medley where Advait, Sajan and Aryan won the medals. The experience of racing against them is priceless," Aneesh Gowda said, making memories that will stay with him for the longest time.Pushed to speak about his 200m Freestyle gold, in a new National Games record time of 1:51.88, one of India's brightest prospects keeps it simple. "I did have a plan. Since we are endurance athletes, I had to come up with speed. I set out for a really quick first half. I wanted to be in the mix at the turn. I noticed I was ahead and was delighted to be the first to the wall," he said.Though Aneesh Gowda claimed the bragging rights after beating Sajan Prakash, he prefers to remain modest about that. "I was smiling because I got my personal best. Sajan Anna is so humble and helpful. I could see he was happy for me," he said. "I truly am grateful for the chance to be even competing with him in the same race."Aneesh Gowda has been extremely happy in the past few weeks. He notched up personal best times in two of the three Freestyle events that he raced in at Lima, Peru in the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships. From there, he flew to Guwahati for the SFI National Championships where he won three gold after missing the opening day's competition."I have examinations when I return to Bengaluru after the National Games, but I wanted to make the most of the chance to swim with and learn from the best in the country," he said, indicating that he would work towards shaving off seconds from his personal best times to be able to get to the Asian Games. (ANI)

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