China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are among the top nations who will be participating in the upcoming 10th AASF Asian Age Group Championships here, which are slated to begin from September 24.
In the competition, 1,000 participants will be seen in action from 26 countries. The championships will see participants in the open category (18 years and above), as well as age groups I (15-17 years) and II (14 years and below).
"We are extremely elated to welcome these young athletes to Bengaluru which is hosting this prestigious event for the first time. We have over 300 volunteers assigned to various duties to ensure smooth execution of the event. Our officials have been working tirelessly over the past three months to ensure all these participants have a wonderful experience during this event," Gopal B Hosur, IPS (Retd) who is the President of the Orgsing Committee said.
"All the venues have been set-up meticulously to ensure international standards are met and we are geared up for successful conduct of the event," he added.
Kazakhstan has the largest foreign contingent of 79 participants and they will arrive in Bengaluru on Saturday while a 57-member contingent from China will also be arriving over the weekend.
Chinese Taipei with 43 participants, Hong Kong with 59 participants, Japan with 66 participants will be taking part in swimming, diving, water polo, and artistic swimming.
The 9-day championships is a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and it will witness the participation from the countries of Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Syria.
Olympian Sajan Prakash will be leading India's charge in the event along with swim sensations Virdhawal Khade and Srihari Nataraj to name a few.
"Bengaluru has been the hub for swimming in India and every Indian swimmer aspires to train in this city and to have this prestigious event here only means that it's a great opportunity for all of us to give our best and ensure a big medal haul for the home country," Prakash said.
"Beyond winning medals, this is also a golden opportunity for Indian swimmers to try and make the 'A' cut to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics" he added.
In the previous edition, India won a total of 40 medals in swimming with five gold, 13 silver and 22 bronze medals while in diving India won three gold, two Silver and three bronze medals.
The event venues have been spread across Bengaluru. The swimming events will be held at Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence from September 24 to 27, 2019.
Water Polo will be held at the Sports Authority of India, Kengeri from September 24 to 30, 2019. Diving will be held at the same venue from September 29 to October 2 this year.
Artistic swimming will be held at the Kensington Swimming Pool, Ulsoor from September 29 to October 2.
( With inputs from ANI )