Shraddha wins medley gold; Khade tops

Men's 4x100M medley relay team and Pansare sparkle

Shraddha wins medley gold; Khade tops

Bengaluru girl Shraddha Sudhir secured her maiden international gold medal while seasoned campaigner Veerdhawal Khade finally laid his hands on the yellow metal as India and Sri Lanka gave a fitting climax to the swimming competition of the 12th South Asian Games here on Wednesday.

Both India and Sri Lanka captured four golds and four silvers each but the islanders managed to sneak ahead of the hosts on the day, winning two bronze — one more than India — at the Dr Zakir Hussain Aquatic Complex.

Apart from Shraddha (200M IM) and Khade (50M butterfly), the other two gold medal winners for India on the concluding day were the men’s 4x100M medley relay team and Jyotsna Pansare (50M butterfly)  with the former triumphing in grand fashion to huge cheers from the crowd.

Shraddha, who lost out out to compatriot Sayani Ghosh on the 400M individual medley on the second day of the competition, had a point to prove as she lined up in the shorter form of the same race. She didn’t enjoy a great start as Nepali Gaurika Singh took off in fine fashion and led after the opening 50M butterfly segment.

Shraddha though made up considerable ground in the backstroke section, catching up with Gaurika within 15 metres of turning in before stroking ahead and opening up a two-second lead at the halfway mark. What looked like a two-horse race at the start soon became one-way traffic as Shraddha powered herself into a huge lead after the breast-stroke leg. The Indian teenager then won in a canter, touching the pad in a timing of 2:31.18. Gaurika (2:33.26) claimed silver while Uthama Silva (2:40.07) settled for bronze.
Just like Shraddha, Khade too needed a gold desperately. One of the top swimmers in the country but usurped by Sri Lankans in this Games, Khade had a last chance to salvage some pride and he did that in classic style.

Moment the buzzer sounded, the Maharashtrian took off quickly, emerging out of the water first. Until the halfway stage compatriot Anshul Kothari gave him a strong fight but when he started to open his huge shoulders there was no catching up.

Khade steamed past everybody before touching the pad at 24.54 seconds. He immediately switched his attention to the giant screen and when that flashed victory for him, he splashed the water around, taking out all the frustration and signing off the meet on a glorious note.

DH News Service

Results: Men: 100M freestyle: Matthew Abeysinghe (SL) 51.23 seconds (GR; Old: 52.48 Aaron D’Souza, 2010) 1; KT Cherantha De Silva (SL) 52.11, 2; Md Mahfizur Rahman (Ban) 52.34, 3. 50M butterfly: Veerdhawal Khade (Ind) 24.54 (GR; Old: 25.20, Anshul Kothari, 2016) 1; Anshul Kothari (Ind) 25.24, 2; KT Cherantha De Silva (SL) 25.45, 3.

200M individual medley: Matthew Abeysinghe (SL) 2:09.63 (GR; Old: 2:11.22, Rehan Poncha, 2006) 1; Sanju Debnath (Ind) 2:11.65, 2; Md Juwel Ahmed (Ban) 2:15.05, 3.
4x100M medley relay: India (3:49.78) (GR; Old: 3:58.76, India) 1; Sri Lanka (3:58.11) 2; Bangladesh (4:01.03). 3.

Women: 100M freestyle: Kimiko Raheem (SL) 57.20 (GR; Old: 1:00.40, Nisha Millet, 1999) 1; Machiko Raheem (SL) 59.64, 2; Shivani Kataria (Ind) 1:00.14, 3. 50M butterfly: Jyotsna Pansare (Ind) 29.19, 1; Avantika Chavan (Ind) 29.67, 2; KA Hiruni Perera (SL) 30.21, 3. 200M individual medley: Shraddha Sudhir (Ind) 2:31.18, 1; Gaurika Singh (Nep) 2:33.26, 2; Uthama Silva (SL) 2:40.07, 3. 4x100M medley relay: Sri Lanka (4:27.75) (GR; Old: 4:40.42, India, 2006) 1; India (4:30.91) 2; Pakistan (4:48.01) 3.

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