Karnataka retain crown

18th straight title for State; Rehan, Richa retain individual honours

UNCHALLENGED: The Karnataka swimming team that retained the overall title  at the National Championships in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. From left: Sneha T, Lavanya G, Srinand Srinivas, R Jayaprakash (coach), Gagan A P, Shubha C, Rehan Poncha, Kshipra Mahajan, Pooja R Alva, Tejaswini V, Arhatha Magavi, Nihar Ameen (coach), Prabhakaran Y (manager).

The State had been the champions for the past 17 years and at the LNCPE pool they asserted their supremacy to clinch the M Parameswaran Nair Trophy with a whooping 318 points.

Karnataka claimed 18 gold, 17 silver and eight bronze medals. Second placed Maharashtra (7 gold, 7 silver, 10 bronze) swimmers could only muster 176 points.
Rehan Poncha and Richa Mishra of Police were adjudged the best swimmers of the meet. Rehan won all the five events he competed here to score 35 points and thus retained the men’s best swimmer title he won in Hyderabad and Kolkata. The Bangalorean took home 100 and 200 butterfly, 400 individual medley, 200 backstroke with new meet records and the 200 IM with a national record.

“This is my third successive best swimmer award. This time I wasn’t sure of winning all the five events. Whenever I race I give my whole-hearted effort and it paid off this year also,” said Rehan.

On the final day, Rehan broke the 100 butterfly meet mark. The 23-year-old stopped the clock at 55.17 to obliterate the old time of 56.03 set by Aaron D’Souza in Hyderabad.
Richa grabbed the women’s crown for the sixth consecutive time.
 The 24-year-old won the 200 and 400 freestyle, 400 IM and 200 IM (with meet record) while in the 100 fly she claimed silver behind Arhatha Magavi.
It was perfect ending to the six-day meet for Karnataka with Arhatha edging out team-mate Shubha C and Goan Talasha Prabhu by three-hundreths-of-a-second in a thrilling 100M freestyle.

Arhatha avenged her 50 fly loss to Shubha when the 15-year-old clocked 59.91 for the gold.

Talasha Prabhu made a last minute effort to push Shubha but the two swimmers stopped the clock at 59.91 to share the silver medal.

Divase’s mark
In the morning, Mandar A Divase of Police rewrote the national record in the 1500M freestyle. Mandar clocked 16:06.64, to go under Gagan AP’s time of 16:10.90.
Gagan, who found that time in Asian Age Group in Tokyo, took silver here. The Karnataka lad clocked 16:38.57.

Merwin Chen of Railways claimed the third position, way behind the gold and silver medallists. Chen timed 17:03.74.

In the women’s 400M individual medley, Richa stopped the clock at 5:02.96 to erase her own meet record time of 5:04.84 achieved in 2007.
Another meet record came in the men’s 200M breast stroke, with Sandeep Sejwal of Delhi timing 2:18.85 to better his own record of 2:19.51 set in 2007.
In waterpolo, Karnataka eves went down fighting to Police 7-6 in a tie-breaker in the third-place play-off.

The teams were tied 4-4 at the end of regulation time and 5-all after extra-time taking the match to the shoot-out.
In the tie-breaker, State eves found the target once while Police netted twice to bag the bronze.


Results:
Men: 1500M freestyle: Mandar A Divase (Pol) 16:06.64 (National record. Old: 16:10.90, AP Gagan, Karnataka, 2009, NMR. Old: 16:17.07, Mandar A Divase, 2008),1; AP Gagan (Kar) 16:38.57, 2; Merwin Chen (RSPB) 17:03.74, 3.

200M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (Del) 2:18.85 (NMR. Old: 2:19.51, Sandeep Sejwal, 2007), 1; Anoop Augustine (RSPB) 2:29.37, 2; Rohit Kumar (Pol) 2:29.71, 3.
100M butterfly: Rehan Poncha (Kar) 55.17 (NMR. Old: 56.03, Aaron D’Souza, Karnataka, 2008),1; Arjun Murlidharan (Pol) 55.37 (BMR) 2; Amar Murlidharan (Mah) 57.17, 3.
Women: 100M freestyle: Arhatha Magavi (Kar) 59.88, 1; Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 59.91, Shubha C (Kar) 59.91, 2.

200M breaststroke: M Raghavi (TN) 2:50.70, 1; Poorva Shetye (Mah) 2:51.47, 2; Priyanka Priyadrshini (Del) 2:58.31, 3.

400M individual medley: Richa Mishra (Pol) 5:02.96 (NMR. Old: 5:04.84, Richa Mishra, 2007), 1; Pooja R Alva (Kar) 5:18.87, 2; Tejaswini V (Kar) 5:34.90, 3.
Waterpolo: (finals) Men: Railways: 9 bt Kerala: 7. Bronze medal play-off: SSCB: 7 bt Maharashtra: 5.

Women, finals: Maharashtra: 7 bt Kerala: 6. Bronze medal play-off: Police: 7 (Biji Devi 3, Naran Nandi 1, Purnima Devi 1) bt Karnataka: 5 (Varshini V Gubbi 2, Thanganatha S Prasad 1, Mrudhula V 1, Renu R T 1). Via tie-breaker. FT: 4-4. Extra time: 1-1.
Overall championship: Karnataka (318 points). Team championship: Men: Karnataka (161). Women: Karnataka (157). Best swimmers: Men: Rehan Poncha (Kar, 35). Women: Richa Mishra (Police, 33).

Diving: Team championship: Men: RSPB (34 points).Women: RSPB (21).

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