Poncha crosses Olympic 'B' qualifying mark in Sydney event
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New Delhi, Jul 5 (PTI) Four-time national champion Rehan Poncha attained the Olympic 'B' qualification mark in the 200m butterfly event to become India's prospective contender for the Beijing Games in the event at the Telstra Grand Prix in Sydney today.

The 21-year-old, who has several national records to his credit, clocked 2:01.40 to finish fifth, better than the Olympic qualifying benchmark of 2:1.79 but will have to wait until July 15 to know whether he would really be on the flight to Beijing.

Poncha would make the cut only if none of his other compatriots better his timing in the event at the second FINA World Youth Championships to be held in Monterrey, Mexico from July 8.

If he qualifies, then Poncha would be the fourth Indian swimmer to book a Beijing berth. The other three being teen sensation Virdawal Khade (200 meters free style), Ankur Poseria (100m butterfly) and Sandeep Sejwal (100m and 200m Breaststrokes).

Poncha will also compete in the 200m backstroke event where he finished third in the preliminaries after clocking 2:08.15. The finals of this event are scheduled for tomorrow.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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