Khade wins 50M freestyle

Aquatics National Championships : Karnataka clinch 4x200M women's relay gold

Khade wins 50M freestyle

 The loudest cheers were reserved for him and once he took the plunge, champion swimmer Veerdhawal Khade didn’t disappoint as he raced his way to clinch the much-awaited 50M freestyle title on the fourth day of the 69th Senior National Aquatics Championships here on Saturday.

Watched by an anxious crowd, which included former sprint champion and Arjuna awardee Sebastian Xavier, Maharashtra’s Khade was no match for his opponents as he stopped the clock at 22.78 seconds to take the gold in his pet event. The timing also saw him meet the ‘B’ cut for the Olympic qualification, set at 23.05 seconds.

“It’s really good. Winning your pet event is something every swimmer looks up to,” said Khade after his triumph.

Khade said he will be looking to clock the ‘A’ standard of 22.27 seconds soon and assure himself a place at the Olympics. “Well, ‘B’ cut is the beginning. I can’t be satisfied with this as it does not assure me of anything. I am looking for the ‘A’ cut and if things go well, I will clock it soon,” added the Maharashtra swimmer.

Though Aaron D’Souza of Railways put up a brave fight, he was nowhere close to the former Asian Games bronze medalist, having to settle for the silver in 23.53 seconds. Local boy Neil Contractor took the bronze in 23.70 seconds.

The women’s 50M freestyle was a closely fought affair. This time it was the local sensation Maana Patel who kept her composure to edge past Avantika Chavan of Maharashtra to clinch gold in 27.09 seconds. Avantika took the silver in 27.53 seconds.

While the 50M freestyle races hogged the limelight, the penultimate day of the meet at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel pool was nothing less than exciting as close finishes and a national record feet kept the spectators entertained.

The 200M breaststroke for women was another event that went down to the wire as Karnataka’s Harshitha Jayaram rallied from a second’s deficit to emerge victorious. The Global Swim Centre trainee clocked 2:47.11 for her gold, while 12-year-old Saloni Dalal ensured a one-two finish for the State side, taking the silver in 2:47.49.

Karnataka claimed two more gold medals to their tally as Shraddha Sudhir won the 400M individual medley in 5:16.91 and later, joined hands with Preksha H M, Damini K Gowda and Malavika V to secure the top spot in 4x200M freestyle relay in 9:10.55.

Later in the men’s 4x200M freestyle relay, the Railways quartet of Sajan Prakash, Saurabh Sangvekar, R Rahul and Aaron D’Souza were in blistering form to win the gold in 7:48.34, a new national mark.

The Railways’ side obliterated the previous best of 7:48.98 set by Karnataka in 2012. Karnataka, this time, had to be content with the silver, touching the pad in 7:58.57, while Services took the bronze in 7:58.75.

Results: Men: 50M freestyle: Veerdhawal Khade (Mah) 22.78, 1; Aaron D’Souza (Railways) 23.53, 2; Neil Contractor (Guj) 23.70, 3. 200M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (Railways) 2:17.63, 1; Puneet Rana (Police) 2:20.92, 2; Anoop Augustine (Railways) 2:22.21, 3. 800M freestyle: Saurabh Sangvekar (Railways) 8:15.58, 1; Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 8:15.81, 2; Mitesh Kunte (Mah) 8:39.14, 3. 400M Individual medley: Sanu Debnath (Railways) 4:38.50, 1; Supriyo Mondal (Railways) 4:38.76, 2; Arvind M (Kar) 4:41.75, 3.

4x200M freestyle relay: Railways 7:48.34 (NR; Old: 7:48.98, Karnataka, 2012) 1; Karnataka 7:58.57, 2; Services 7:58.75, 3.

Women: 50M freestyle: Maana Patel (Guj) 27.09, 1; Avantika Chavan (Mah) 27.56, 2; Shivani Kataria (Har) 27.60, 3.

200M breaststroke: Harshitha Jayaram (Kar) 2:47.11, 1; Saloni Dalal (Kar) 2:47.49, 2; Kalyani Saxena (Guj) 2:48.06, 3.

400M Individual medley: Shraddha Sudhir (Kar) 5:16.91, 1; Sayani Ghosh (Bengal) 5:17.37, 2; Rayna Saldhanha (Mah) 5:24.29, 3.

4x200M freestyle relay: Karnataka 9:10.55, 1; Maharashtra 9:30.21, 2; Kerala 9:36.42, 3.
Diving: Men: 1M spring board: K Ramananda Sharma (Services) 258.80, 1; Gaurav Raghuvanshi (Railways) 248.25, 2; Y Hariprasad (Railways) 245.35, 3.

Women: 1M spring board: Simran Rajani (Mah) 176.85, 1; Hrutika Shriram (Railways) 168.95, 2; Deepti Panwar (Railways) 148.75, 3.

Waterpolo: Men (Group stage): Services: 10 bt Police: 4.Women (Semifinals): Kerala: 5 bt Bengal: 3; Maharashtra: 5 bt Karnataka: 3.

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