LAHORE - The Punjab Women’s Open and Age Group Swimming Championship saw girls aged from seven years to young adults win medals and awards in all categories of events, indicating the sport of swimming was growing rapidly in the province.

A large contingent of swimmers from Faisalabad and a swimmer from Multan took part in the event apart from over 50 participants from Lahore.

The top honours in the four age group categories were claimed by Ameena Ameer Qadri (Under 10), Maya Choudry (Under 12), Mishael Hyat Ayub (Under 14) and Gulminay Lone (Under 16).

Mishael Hyat Ayub also took five gold and two silver medals to claim the title of best swimmer in the Punjab Open event which is contested by all age groups. Her dynamic butterfly stroke was especially appreciated.

The event was held under the auspices of the Women’s Swimming Association of Pakistan and took place at the Wapda Sports Complex 50 metre pool.

Mubashrah Raza, Honorary Secretary of WSAP said that “It is a pleasure to see swimming for girls growing so quickly. We have had more and more participants with each passing year and the standards of swimming are also rising.”

The mother of one of most promising swimmers in the competition, Natasha Nabi, said that her daughter, Jehanara, “loves swimming and was very enthusiastic about it.”

Coach Ghulam Murtaza, who helped guide many of the girls taking part to success, said that swimming needed more development in the country and had suffered a decline over the years. He hoped that promising young swimmers could take it forward once again in the future.

Swimming for girls has been growing in the country with contingents of Pakistani women taking part in the World Swimming Championships in Kazan held last month and at a number of other events.