Aaron lights up the pool with new meet record

Karnataka lead table with eight medals on day one

Aaron D’Souza en route to the 200M freestyle gold in the National Championships on Monday.

At the LNCPE pool, Aaron swam the 200M freestyle in one minute 53.36 seconds, slicing his own record — set at Hyderabad last year — by a good one second. The 17-year-old, however, could not come close to National record of 1:49.00 standing in the name of Virdhawal Khade.

“I wasn’t thinking about the record. I just wanted to better my timing here and I am happy that it came on the first day itself,” said Aaron, who will also be competing in 50, 100 and 400 freestyle as well as 50 butterfly here. Quick off the blocks, the Bangalorean never seemed in any sort of trouble and took the lead at the 100-metre mark. Aaron then stepped up the tempo to cruise home, leaving behind the experienced Mander A Divase of Police, who took the silver in 1:56.01.

Three other records were broken on Monday. Olympian Sandeep Sejwal found a new mark in the 100M breaststroke, clocking 1:04.26 in his favourite event. The Delhiite, who was in good form during the European sojourn and the Asian Age Group championship in August, erased his own mark of 1:04.36 set in 2007. Meanwhile, Karnataka’s men’s and women’s 4X100 freestyle relay teams powered to gold medals with ease in the morning. The men’s quartet of Ashwin Menon, Rehan Poncha, Rohit R Havaldar and Aaron D’Souza touched home in 3:37.63 for a new championship mark. The previous record of 3:39.41 too was in Karnataka’s name.

The women’s team stopped the clock at 4:08.63 to rewrite the five-year old mark of 4:08.91. With three gold, three silver and two bronze, Karnataka lead the table after day one while Maharashtra (2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze) are placed second.

In waterpolo, riding on a three goal effort from Varshini Gubbi, Karnataka women trounced Delhi 7-0. Malvika Gubbi and Renu R T netted two goals each for the winners. However, the men’s team went down to Bengal 0-13.

Results: Men: 200M freestyle: Aaron D’Souza (Kar) 1:53.36, 1; NMR. Old: 1:54.38 (Aaron, 2008); Mander A Divase (Pol) 1:56.01, 2; Rohit Havaldar (Kar) 1:44.26, 3. 100M backstroke: M B Balakrishnan (TN) 59.56, 1; Ashwin Menon (Kar) 1:00.23, 2; Rohit R Havaldar (Kar) 1:00.26, 3. 100M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (Del) 1:04.26, 1; NMR: Old: 1:04.36 (Sejwal, 2007); Arjun J P (RSPB) 1:06.39, 2; Puneet Rana (Pun) 1:07.02, 3. 4x100M freestyle relay: Karnataka (Ashwin Menon, Rehan Poncho, Rohit R Hawaldar, Aaron D’Souza) 3:37.63, 1. NMR. Old: 3:39.41 (Karnataka, 2007); RSPB (Arjun J P, Praveen Tokas, G Mohan, K Mani) 3:41.28, 2; Maharashtra (Amar Muralidharan, Rahul Sharma, Abhijeet Garg, Virdhawal Khade) 3:44.87, 3. Women: 200M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:08.84, 1; Arhatha Magavi (Kar) 2:10.06, 2; Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 2:10.41, 3. 100M backstroke: Jyotsna Pansare (Mah) 1:09.57, 1; C Ayshwarya (TN) 1:11.10, 2; Ananya P (Mah) 1:11.35, 3. 100M breaststroke: Gauri Desai (Mah) 1:20.50, 1; Tejaswini V (Kar) 1:22.02, 2; Poorva Shetye (Mah) 1:22.05, 3. 4X100M freestyle relay: Karnataka (Arhatha Magavi, Sneha T, Pooja R Alva, Shubha C) 4:08.63, 1. NMR. Old: 4:08.91 (Karnataka, 2003); Maharashtra (Jyotsna Pansare, Aditi M, Surabhi T, Lekha Kamat) 4:16.54, 2; Tamil Nadu (R Sushmitha, M Raghavi, U Aditi Malavika, Anusha M) 4:24.45, 3.
Waterpolo: Men: Kerala: 14 bt Manipur: 1; Bengal: 13 bt Karnataka: 0.
Women: Karnataka: 7 (Varshini Gubbi 3, Malvika Gubbi 2, Renu R T 2) bt Delhi: 0; Maharashtra: 11 bt Bengal: 3.
Diving: Women: Hruthika S Sriram (RSPB) 217.75 points, 1; Tanuka Dhara (WB) 183.90, 2; Jagrut S (Mah) 174.50, 3.

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