India’s History of Swimming at Asian Games


Swimming has been a featured sport in the Asian Games since its very first edition in New Delhi in 1951. Sachin Nag achieved a significant milestone in this historic event by winning the 100m freestyle event, making him India’s first gold medalist at the Asian Games. 

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Since then, Indian swimmers have continued participating and secured two silver and six bronze medals. However, the gold medal has remained elusive for India for over 70 years.

India’s most remarkable performance in swimming at the Asian Games occurred during its inaugural season with six medals. Among these medals were one gold, one silver, and four bronze, showcasing the nation’s promising talent in the sport.

However, since the 1951 debut edition, India’s pursuit of a gold medal in indoor swimming has remained an elusive quest, with the top prize remaining out of reach.

Indian Medalist in Swimming at the Asian Games in 1951

During the inaugural Asian Games 1951, Indian swimmers displayed remarkable power and secured a notable collection of medals. 

Gold medal in the 100m freestyle (1 Gold)

Sachin Nag emerged as the standout performer, clinching the gold medal event. 

Silver medal in the 100m backstroke (1 Silver)

Alongside Sachin Nag, Kanti Shah earned a silver medal in the 100m backstroke. 

Bronze medals in 400m freestyle and 200m breaststroke (2 Bronze)

Bimal Chandra showcased his talent by winning a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle, while Jehangir Naegamwalla secured another bronze in the 200m breaststroke. 

Bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle (1 Bronze)

In relay events, the Indian team demonstrated their collective strength, with Isaac Mansoor, Bimal Chandra, Sambhu Saha, and Sachin Nag securing a bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay. 

Bronze medal in the 3x100m medley relay (1 Bronze)

Additionally, Kanti Shah, Jehangir Naegamwalla, and Sachin Nag combined to earn a bronze medal in the 3x100m medley relay, contributing to India’s impressive medal tally in swimming at the 1951 Asian Games.

Another Two Bronze and One Silver Medals

  • Sandeep Sejwal secured a bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke at the 2014 Incheon Games.
  • Virdhawal Khade’s exceptional talent earned him a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly during the 2010 Guangzhou Games. 
  • Khajan Singh’s enduring legacy in Indian swimming was highlighted when he claimed a silver medal in the 200m butterfly event at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games.