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UAE’s ‘Little Mermaid’ impresses in India

Dubai: Swimming sensation Arushee Wahi, who is known as the UAE’s Little Mermaid, has added to her growing reputation by claiming two gold medals at the CBSE National Swimming Championships in India.

Arushee, a Grade 11 student of The Indian High School, Dubai, won the 50m and 200m backstroke events in the tournament at Rishikul Vidyapeeth school in Sonipat, Haryana, setting an under-19 national record of 2 minutes 43.17 seconds in the 200m along the way. She also won silver medals in the 100m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly events.

Arushee has been creating waves in India since June this year, when she won the individual title at the 44th Junior State Aquatic Championships at Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, with her tally of five gold medals, one silver and two bronze, along with two meet records in the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

She carried her form into the CBSE Gulf Clusters in Dubai, where she was again the individual champion with six golds and one silver.

Arushee is the only swimmer from the UAE who has broken records in all age categories (under-12s, 14s, 16s and 19s) for girls at CBSE National Swimming Meets in India.

“I owe my success to my parents, who provide me with all the support,” she told Gulf News. “I train for two hours and 30 minutes in the evening four times a week and one hour in the morning thrice a week.”

Arushee’s mother, Dr Ranjana Wahi, who has taken her daughter for swimming classes since the age of three, said: “We provided her with professional training from the age of seven and she worked hard in school during morning hours to improve her skills.”