Divase shatters 800M record

Karnatakas Poncha opens campaign with 200M butterfly win

Karnataka’s Rehan Poncha created a new meet record in the 200M butterfly at the Senior National Aquatic Championship in Thiruvanthapuram on Tuesday.

After some lacklustre performances on the first day, the meet sprang to life with Divase coming through 16-laps in a time of eight minutes 23.08 seconds, with the 23-year-old Police swimmer beating record-holder A P Gagan of Karnataka. Gagan, bothered by an upset stomach, struggled to bag the silver, clocking 8:35.21.

Divase rewrote the mark of 8:26.57 set by Gagan at the Asian Age Group meet in Tokyo this year. In the process, the BSF Sub-Inspector, who trains at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre in Bangalore, also bettered his own meet mark of 8:31.61, which was his best performance to date.

“I was expecting a good time here but not a national record. I believe it was possible because of national coach Pradeep Kumar sir,” said Divase while Gagan blamed his below-par performance on his illness.

“Divase is an experienced swimmer and he did very well today. But I should have clocked a better timing,” he said.

Poncha started his quest for the third consecutive best swimmer award in style with a fighting win in the 200 butterfly that also saw him create a new meet record.

Poncha was a touch slow to start with and was closely followed by Arjun Muralidharan of Police in the first two laps. However, the Karnataka swimmer gradually built his lead before touching home in 2:01.28. Poncha erased his own mark of 2:02.19 set in Hyderabad.

In the women’s 200M butterfly, Arhatha gave Karnataka their second gold of the day when the 15-year-old broke the championship record. Arhatha timed 2:19.59 to erase the meet record of 2:19.63 set by Richa Mishra five years back.

However, Richa had her share of joy in the 400 freestyle when she claimed her second gold with a meet mark of 4:28.97, slicing the old mark by three seconds. Richa had won the 200 freestyle on Monday.

Holders Karnataka top the table with 86 points (five gold, four silver and four bronze) closely followed by Maharashtra (67) and Police (36).

Results: Men: 800M freestyle: Mandar A Divase (Pol) 8:23.08 (National record. Old: 8:26.57, AP Gagan, 2009) 1;. A P Gagan (Kar) 8:35.21, 2; Mervyn Chen (RSPB) 8:52.72, 3.

50M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (Del) 29.37, (New Meet Record. Old: 29.40 Sejwal, 2007), 1; J P Arjun (RSPB) 29.66, 2; Rohit Kumar (Pol) 30.32, 3.

200M butterfly: Rehan Poncha (Kar) 2:01.28, (NMR. Old: 2:02.19, Poncha, 2008); Arjun Muralidharan (Pol) 2:03.37, 2; Amar Muralidharan (Mah) 2:09.95, 3.

Women: 400M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Pol) 4:28.97 (NMR. Old: 4:31.87, Nisha Millet, 2004), 1; Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 4:37.72, 2; Pooja R Alva (Kar) 4:39.25, 3.

50M breaststroke: Poorva Shetye (Mah) 36.86, 1; Gauri Desai (Mah) 37.04, 2; Man Kiran Kaur (Pun) 37.14, 3.

200M butterfly: Arhatha Magavi (Kar) 2:19.59 (NMR. Old: 2:19.63, Richa Mishra, Pol, 2003); Vandita Dhariyal (Guj) 2:23.53, 2; Pooja R Alva (Kar) 2:28.61, 3.

Waterpolo: Men: RSPB: 8 bt Delhi: 0; SSCB: 5 bt Punjab: 2; Police: 17 bt Manipur: 1; Maharashtra: 10 (Devendra Joshi 4, Sribas 2, Prutik 2, Akshay Kunde 1, Aniket 1) bt Karnataka: 0.

Women: Kerala: 19 bt Manipur: 1.
Diving: Men: High board: Tushar Gitaye (RSPB) 328.70, 1; Naveen Yadav (RSPB) 285.00, 2; Keshav Shinde (Mah) 253.35, 3.

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