Aaron sets pool ablaze

Karnataka swimmer sinks 200M freestyle record

Aaron D’Souza shows off his spoils after breaking his 200M freestyle mark on the second day of the 65th Senior National aquatic championships.

In fact, most swimmers would like to get out of the water in double quick time in such conditions and that seemed to be Aaron D’Souza’s idea as well, as he completed the 200-metre freestyle in a meet record time on the second day of the 65th Senior National Aquatic championships here on Thursday.

Aaron finished the four-lap race in commanding fashion, timing one minute 51.38 seconds at the Veer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Centre. In the process, the Karnataka swimmer obliterated his own mark of 1:53.36 set two years ago in Thiruvananthapuram. Aaron also went under the Olympics Games invitation time of 1:51.59 but he was a little unlucky with the Nationals here not recognised as a qualifying event for the London meet.

“I am really disappointed and upset,” said Aaron. “But this performance will motivate me to work harder and achieve my dream of qualifying for the Olympics.”

Aaron’s State-mate Saurabh Sangvekar, the 800M gold medallist on Wednesday, did offer some challenge but that wasn’t enough on the day. Aaron touched the 50-metre mark in 25.61, reached the 100 at 53.58 and the 150 in 1:23.05 before cruising home. Saurabh took silver in 1:55.06.

Rehan Poncha claimed the only other gold for Karnataka on Thursday. Poncha hardly broke sweat in the 400M individual medley, storming home in 4:35.53 for his second title. Merwyn Chen of RSPB clinched silver in 4:44.56 while Poncha’s team-mate Arvind M grabbed the bronze in 4:46.33.

The day’s best performance came from Police swimmer Richa Mishra who shattered the National record in the women’s 800M freestyle, claimed the 200M freestyle with a new meet record and went on to complete a memorable treble by pocketing the 400M individual medley crown. Richa timed 9:06.31 seconds in the 800 freestyle, shaving off more than four seconds from her own mark of 9:10.96 which she set last year at the Federation Cup (test meet for the Commonwealth Games) in Delhi.

Breaststrokers Sandeep Sejwal and AV Jayaveena set the tempo early on in the evening finals, the duo rewriting the meet records in their respective 50-metre breaststroke races. Sandeep twice rewrote meet marks, first in the heats, where he timed 28.93, and then in the evening final. The Beijing Olympian clocked 28.35 seconds, erasing his own time of 29.11 created last year in Jaipur.

The 13-year-old Jayaveena from Tamil Nadu touched home in 35.48 seconds, bettering the existing meet mark of 35.63 that had stood for seven years in Saba Sait’s name.
Karnataka stayed on top with six gold, six silver and four bronze medals while RSPB remained in second spot (4 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze).

Results:Men: 200M freestyle: Aaron D’Souza (Kar) 1:51.38 seconds, 1. New Meet Record (Old: 1:53.36, Aaron D’Souza, Kar, 2009); Saurabh Sangvekar (Kar) 1:55.06, 2; Mandar Divase (Pol) 1:57.40, 3.
50M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (RSPB) 28.35, 1. NMR (Old: 29.11, Sandeep Sejwal, RSPB, 2010 (Sejwal clocked 28.93 to better the meet mark in morning heats); Puneet Rana (Pol) 30.22, 2; Yashodhan Lonkar (RSPB) 30.89, 3.
400M individual medley: Rehan Poncha (Kar) 4:35.53, 1; Merwyn Chen (RSPB) 4:44.56, 2; Arvind M (Kar) 4:46.33, 3.
Women: 200M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:07.29 seconds, 1. NMR (Old: 2:07.92, Nisha Millet, Kar, 2003); Surabhi Tipre (Kar) 2:09.43, 2; Aditi D (Mah) 2:11.36, 3.
800M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Pol) 9:06.31, 1. National Record (Old: 9:10.96, Richa Mishra, 2010; NMR, Old: 9:25.57, Richa, 2007); Surabhi Tipre (Kar) 9:21.87, 2. BMR; Aakanksha Vora (Mah) 9:33.10, 3.
50M breaststroke: AV Jayaveena (TN) 35.48, 1. NMR (Old: 35.63, Saba Sait, TN, 2004); M Raghavi (TN) 35.79, 2; Poorva Shetye (Mah) 35.95, 3.
400M individual medley: Richa Mishra (Pol) 5:05.17, 1; Pooja R Alva (Kar) 5:18.09, 2; Aakanksha Vora (Mah) 5:24.85, 3.
Water polo: Men: RSPB bt Punjab 13-3; SSCB bt Kerala 6-1; Police bt West Bengal 4-3; Maharashtra bt Delhi 9-0. Women: West Bengal: 4 (Jharna Dey 2, Sarmistha 1, Triparna Paul 1) bt Karnataka: 2 (Mrudula 2); Police bt Manipur 11-0; Kerala bt Delhi 6-0.
Diving: Men: High board: Tushar Gitaye (RSPB) 325.85, 1; Pushkar Meitei (Jhd) 319.45, 2; Himanshu Tiwari (RSPB) 286.65, 3.
Women: High board: Hrutika Shriram (RSPB) 233.55, 1; Deepti Panwar (RSPB) 207.10, 2; Tanuka Dhara (WB) 183.75, 3.

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