Karnataka girls win water polo gold

State girls last won the gold in the Delhi edition of the event in 2003. They played with aggression right from the word go on the day and immediately took the lead. Swetha S netted the first goal and soon after Renu R T, who played brilliantly upfront, doubled the lead in the first quarter.

With a 2-0 lead, Karnataka relaxed a bit but Kerala failed to grab the chance as the second quarter went goalless. In the third quarter, Sruthi M S found the target before Renu, after a long pass from Swetha, placed to the left of Kerala goalkeeper Dilna.

Karnataka owed much to custodian Saraswathi Holla, who made some reflex saves mostly against Kerala’s Neethu, the top scorer of the championship with 15 goals.

“Saraswathi is the best goalkeeper in the country. She did a good job for us. The team trained hard and played really well against the defending champions in the final,” said skipper Varshini Gubbi after the match.

Saraswathi received the best water polo player award and a cash prize of Rs 10,000.
The Karnataka coach Thulasi H, who was also the coach when the State won gold last time, praised his wards and said hard work was the main factor behind the success. “I am extremely pleased with the players. They did a fantastic job. If you don’t concede a goal against a team like Kerala then you can take credit. I would say all of them trained hard and played well but Saraswathi (goalkeeper) deserves special pat for her performance,” Thulasi said.

Karnataka team got the winners’ prize money of Rs 51,000. Meanwhile, K N Guruswamy Education and Charitable Trust announced a cash award of Rs 5000 each to the team members. “The cash prize of 5000 rupees each will be given to the gold medal-winning State water polo teams from this year onwards by the trust,” said team manager Sujatha Tilak Kumar.

Results (finals): Boys: West Bengal bt Kerala 14-5.
Girls: Karnataka: 4 (Swetha S 1, Renu R T 2, Shruthi M S 1) bt Kerala: 0.
Indian squad announced
Olympians Rehan Poncha and Veerdhawal Khade will spearhead the Indian challenge in the sixth Asian Age Group Championship in Tokyo from August 6 to 14.
The coaching camp for swimming and diving will be held at Balevadi, Pune, while the water polo and synchronised swimming camps are at SAI Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from July 6.
The squad (Karnataka unless mentioned): Swimmers: Boys: Rehan Poncha, Gagan AP, Aaron D’Souza, Shaun D’Souza, Prajwal KS, P Sandeep (TN) , Pulkeet Kumar (Har), Jayant Vijaykumar (TN), Shibnath Naskar (WB), Sachin Kumar Maurya (UP), Veerdhawal Khade (Mah), Sandeep Sejwal (Dli), J Agnishwar (TN). Girls: Sushaka Pratap, Navya G Shenoy, Madhavi Giri, Sneha T, Kanchi Desai (Mah), Talasha Prabhu, Kavya Bhandekar (Mah), Vandita Dhariyal (Guj), Anusha Mehta (TN), Fariha Zaman (Asm), Richa Mishra (Pol), Arti Ghorpade (Mah), Surabhi Tipre (Mah).
Water polo: Boys: Biswajit D (WB), Aneish Babu (Ker), Akshay Kumar Kunde (Mah), Shreejith RJ (Ker), Sony Alias (Ker), Bikram Mondal (WB), Biswajit Dutta (WB), Satadip B (WB), Parth Gupta (Dli), Pintu Naiya (WB), Lalkrishna C (Ker), Jeetinder Singh (Pun), Vignesh MS (Kar), Jatinder Pal Singh (Pun), Aniket Salchare (Mah), W Leo Singh (Man), Sumit Shaw (WB), Vishnu R (Ker). Girls: Saraswathi Holla, Varshini Gubbi, Shruthi MS, Uttara Kotari, Renu RT, Swetha SS, Mayuri D (Mah), Abhirami VC (Ker), Archa AA (Ker), Nithu MN (Ker), Meghna M (Mah), Dhilna MD (Ker), Nithya MR (Ker), Sharmishta Raha (WB), Lakshmi SR (Ker), Sonali Ghorpade (Mah), Nishita Sule (Mah), Komal K (Mah).
Diving: Boys: RK Singh (Rly), R Sha-rma (SSCB), Aditya Giram (Mah). Gir-ls: Sushmita Vasta (Goa), N Divay Theja, Swati Vidup (Mah), Genevieve D’Costa (Goa), Hrutika S (Rly).

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