Brilliant Gagan sinks meet mark

Having grabbed enough eyeballs following his title-winning exploits in the 1500M freestyle and 400M individual medley, the 19-year-old was the pick of the field in the 800M freestyle and claimed the title in impressive fashion at the Beer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic stadium.

Visible in his earlier title wins, Gagan’s strategy was of three parts – an early thrust, maintain the lead and then one final charge for the gold and record. The story was no different on Thursday too, the youngster off the blocks in a flash before stroking himself ahead within the opening 25 metres.

He then extended the lead to three seconds by the halfway stage, putting himself in the driver’s seat and in pursuit of another record. Pushing as hard as possible, Gagan finally touched the pad at eight minutes 27.22 seconds, obliterating the earlier record set by team-mate Rohit R Havaldar.

Karnataka’s Pooja R Alva upstaged Richa Mishra for the women’s 50M butterfly title while Rohit R Havaldar was outfoxed in the end by Maharastra’s Virdhawal Khade for the 100M backstroke title.

Results: Men: 50M butterflystroke: Virdhawal Khade (Maharashtra) 25.16 seconds (New Meet Record – Old: 25.16, Virdhawal Khade) 1; Anshul Kothari (Gujarat) 26.62, 2; Pulkit Kumar (Haryana) 26.69, 3.
100M backstroke: Virdhawal Khade (Maharashtra) 59.89s (NMR – Old: 1:00.60, Rohit R Havaldar) 1; Rohit R Havaldar (Karnataka) 59.97 (Bettered Meet Record) 2; Ashwin Menon (Karnataka) 1:00.23, 3.
800M freestyle: Gagan AP (Karnataka) 8:27.22 (NMR – Old: 8:35.39, Rohit R Havaldar) 1; Mandar Divase (Maharashtra) 8:38.38, 2; Merwyn Chen (Delhi) 8:44.96, 3.
Women: 50M butterflystroke: Pooja R Alva (Karnataka) 29.87, 1; Richa Mishra (Delhi) 29.98, 2; Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 30.14, 3.
100M backstroke: Richa Mishra (Delhi) 1:09.22, 1; Arti Ghorpade (Maharashtra) 1:09.85, 2; R Sushmitha (Tamil Nadu) 1:11.65, 3.
1500M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Delhi) 18:14.79 (NMR – Old: 18:14.97, Richa Mishra) 1; Sushaka Pratap (Karnataka) 18:43.01, 2; Anusha Mehta (TN) 19.24.01, 3.
Diving: Women: 3M springboard: Hrutika Shriram (Maharashtra) 205.35 points (NMR – Old: 199.50, Hrutika Shriram) 1; Swati Vidap (Maharashtra) 156.10, 2; Karishma M Mohite (Karnataka) 155.85, 3.
Waterpolo: Men: West Bengal: 12 bt Karnataka: 1; Women: Delhi: 10 bt Karnataka: 5; Kerala: 6 bt Maharashtra: 2.
Eves lose
Karnataka women’s volleyball campaign ended on a sad note as they suffered a straight-set loss to Andhra Pradesh in the bronze medal play-off at the Haribansh Tana Bhagat indoor stadium.
Appearing completely listless, the youthful State eves were completely dominated by a much superior Andhra, who scripted a comfortable 25-16, 25-13, 25-16 win. Favourites Kerala won the gold, rolling over West Bengal 25-16, 25-21, 25-17.
Results: Third place play-off: Andhra Pradesh bt Karnataka 25-16, 25-13, 25-16.

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