Poncha sets the pool ablaze

Karnataka lad sets 200 IM mark; Shubha grabs 50M freestyle gold

Poncha made amends for his narrow miss of the national mark in the 400IM on Wednesday with a comfortable victory, stopping the clock at 2:05.89, at the LNCPE pool.

On the fourth day, the Bangalorean seemed untouchable as he ripped apart the national mark of two minutes 06.29 seconds which he set this year at the Rome World Championship.

Poncha took the lead role right from the start and unexpectedly it was his team-mate Ashwin Menon who gave the Olympian the challenge. Sandeep, who was struggling in fourth position, covered some ground in the breaststroke segment to take the third position behind Poncha and Ashwin.

Into the freestyle segment, the 23-year-old Poncha, who had already gained two body lengths lead, then sped away for the third gold of the meet with ease.

It was also Poncha’s hat-trick of titles in the 200IM at the Nationals after he previously won it in Kolkata and Hyderabad.

“It’s always a happy feeling when you break records. I put a lot of work in my breaststrokes. Today it was far better then yesterday,” said Poncha, who also helped the Karnataka men’s 4x100 medley relay team to grab the gold in the morning with a new meet record time of 4:00.55.

Going into the freestyle segment of the relay, Karnataka were trailing by five metres. However, Aaron D’Souza powered past Mandar A Divase of Police to touch home to erase the previous record of 4:04.85 set by SSCB in 2007. In the corresponding women’s event, Karnataka quartet of Kshipra Mahajan, Tejaswini V, Arhatha Magavi, and Subha C sent into oblivion the three-year-old national record created by the Indian team at the SAF Games in Colombo. The State eves clocked 4:39.62.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s MB Balakrishnan sliced two-hundreths of a second from his own national mark to win the 50M backstroke gold while Virdhawal Khade went under Sebastian Xavier’s 11-year-old championship mark in the 50M freestyle to become the fastest swimmer of the meet. The 18-year-old Maharashtrian timed 22.71, slower than his personal best of 22.55. “I was bit tired after the travel as I had to go back home on Tuesday to write exams and reached here only on Wednesday evening. Under the circumstances I am satisfied with the time I clocked here,” said Khade.

Karnataka’s Shubha C rounded off the day’s proceedings with gold in the 50M freestyle. The 20-year-old clocked 27.67 and thus retained the crown she won in Hyderabad. On the championship stakes, Karnataka are way ahead with 237 points (14 gold, 10 silver, 6 bronze) and Maharashtra are placed second with 125 points. In waterpolo, Karnataka eves went down to Kerala 5-13 in an inconsequential league match. They will meet Maharashtra in the semifinal on Friday.


Results: Men: 50M freestyle: Virdhawal Khade (Mah) 22.71 (New meet record, Old: 22.89, Sebastian Xavier, RSPB, 1998),1; Aaron D’Souza (Kar) 23.65, 2; Arjun JP (RSPB) 24.71, 3.
50M backstroke: MB Balakrishnan (TN) 27.56 (National record. Old: 27.58, MB Balakrishnan, 2008, NMR. Old: 27.58, MB Balakrishnan, 2008), 1; Rohit R Havaldar (Kar) 28.11, 2; Arjun Muralidharan (Pol) 28.12, 3.

200M individual medley: Rehan Poncha (Kar) 2:05.89 (National record. Old: 2:06.29, Rehan Poncha, 2009, NMR. Old: 2:08.13, Rehan Poncha, 2008), 1; Sandeep Sejwal (Del) 2:12.34, 2; Ashwin Menon (Kar) 2:13.19, 3.

4X100 medley relay: Karnataka (Rohit Havaldar, Gagan A P, Rehan Poncha, Aaron D’Souza) 4:00.55 (NMR. Old: 4:04.85, SSCB, 2007), 1; Police (Arjun Muralidharan, Rohit Kumar, C H Vinay Krishna, Mandar A Divase) 4:02.24, 2. BMR; RSPB (Sumanth Nath, Arjun J P, K Rajeev, Praveen Tokas) 4:07.11, 3.
Women: 50M freestyle: Shubha C (Kar) 27.67, 1; Sneha T (Kar) 27.75, 2; Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 27.86, 3.

50M backstroke: Fariha Zaman (Ass) 31.67, 1; Jyotsna Pansare (Mah) 31.90, 2; C Ayshwarya (TN) 32.59, 3.

200M individual medley: Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:25.00 (NMR. Old: 2:25:17, Richa Mishra, 2006), 1; Pooja R Avla (Kar) 2:28.96, 2; Tejaswini V (Kar) 2:33.67, 3.
4X100M medley relay: Karnataka (Kshipra Mahajan, Tejaswini V, Arhatha Magavi, Subha C) 4:39.62 (National record. Old: 4:40.42, Indian team, 2006, NMR. Old: 4:44.22, Karnataka, 2006),1; Mah (Ananya P, Gauri Desai, Lekha K, Jyotsna Pansare) 4:48.66, 2; Tamil Nadu (Ayshwarya, M Raghavi, U Aditi Malavika, Anusha Mehta) 4:51.58, 3.
Waterpolo: Men: Kerala:7 bt Police: 2. Women: Kerala:13 (B Praveeena 4, Biji Varghese 4, Saranya S Nair 2, Archa A A 2, Pranittha V 1) bt Karnataka: 5 (Malavika Gubbi 2, Varshini Gubbi 2, Renu T 1); Maharashtra: 7 bt Police: 2; Delhi: 2 bt Manipur: 1.
Diving: Men: 3MSpring board: T Hari Prasad (RSPB) 303.65, 1; Ravi Kumar Singh (RSPB) 281.95, 2; Y Hemjith Meithei (Jhd) 275.95, 3.

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