Karnataka’s title defence at the 70th Glenmark Senior National Aquatics Championships got off to the worst possible start as the State swimmers failed to win even a single gold medal at the Veer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Stadium here on Saturday.
Though the likes of Arvind Mani, Likith SP and Damini K Gowda were in action, none could manage to take the top honours on a day that saw one national record being set under persistent drizzle here.
Arvind was the first to take the plunge in the 200M individual medley. Having won the top prize in this race a year ago at Rajkot, a lot was expected from the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre (BAC) trainee. And though he started the race in fine fashion and set the tone in the butterfly leg, Arvind failed to hold on as Sanu Debnath of the Railways raced ahead of the Karnataka man to clinch the gold in 2:08.54. Arvind settled for the silver in 2:09.29, while his State-mate Likith SP took the bronze in 2:10.80.
A backstroke specialist, Arvind would have hoped to go a notch better when he took the dip for the 100M backstroke later in the evening. But in a closely fought race, he ended with the bronze as Madhu PS of the Services set a national mark for the gold.
Madhu topped in 57.85 seconds, one-tenth of a second better than the previous mark of 57.95 seconds that he had set at the 2014 Kolkata meet. Aaron D’Souza of the Railways was the silver medalist in 58.91 while Arvind completed the podium in 59.06.
“I didn’t plan for a record here. My only aim was to go out and give my best shot. And luckily for me that fetched me the gold,” said Madhu. “A record on the first day is always good as it motivates and pushes you to give that extra bit in your other races. I hope the same happens with me too,” added the Dolphin Aquatics trainee who will feature in the 50M and 200M backstroke as well.
In the women’s section, the defending champions missed freestyler Malavika V dearly. Her absence not only meant that the State failed to feature in the top three in 400M freestyle, their 4x100M freestyle relay team also took a hit as they were pushed to a distant second in a race won by Maharashtra.
A lot was expected from Damini but she had to settle for the bronze in the 50M butterfly. Maharashtra’s Jyotsna Pansare took the gold in 29.27 seconds, while Avantika Chavan completed a one-two for Maharashtra with the silver in 29.54 seconds.
Results: Men: 400M freestyle: Saurabh Sangvekar (Railways) 4:02.70, 1; Anand AS (Services) 4:08.14, 2; Avinash Mani (Kar) 4:09.48, 3. 100M backstroke: Madhu PS (Services) 57.85 (NR: Old: 57.95, Madhu, 2014), 1; Aaron D’Souza (Railways) 58.91, 2; Arvind Mani (Kar) 59.06, 3. 50M butterfly: Anshul Kothari (Guj) 24.93, 1; Sarma SP Nair (Railways) 25.19, 2; Supriyo Mondal (Railways) 25.51, 3. 200M individual medley: Sanu Debnath (Railways) 2:08.54, 1; Arvind Mani (Kar) 2:09.29, 2; Likith SP (Kar) 2:10.80, 3. 4x100M freestyle relay: Railways 3:31.96, 1; Services 3:35.86, 2; Karnataka 3:37.79, 3.
Women: 400M freestyle: Shivani Kataria (Har) 4:32.99, 1; Monique Gandhi (Mah) 4:41.02, 2; Shruthi Mahalingam (TN) 4:41.86, 3. 100M backstroke: Maana Patel (Guj) 1:05.28, 1; Shreyanti Pan (Bengal) 1:08.05, 2; Yuga Brinale (Mah) 1:08.19, 3.
50M butterfly: Jyotsna Pansare (Mah) 29.27, 1; Avantika Chavan (Mah) 29.54, 2; Damini K Gowda (Kar) 29.62, 3. 200M individual medley: Sayani Ghosh (Bengal) 2:25.22, 1; Rayna Saldanha (Mah) 2:30.34, 2; Shraddha Sudhir (Kar) 2:30.75, 3. 4x100M freestyle relay: Maharashtra 4:07.27, 1; Karnataka 4:11.47, 2; Bengal 4:21.90, 3.
Diving: Men: High board: Siddharth Pradeshi (Services) 325.95, 1; Tushar Singha (Police) 156.30, 2; Puskar Mettei (Services) 260.15, 3.
Women: High board: Hrutika Shriram (Railways) 202.15, 1; Twinkle Singha (Police) 156.30, 2; Ispita Mahajan (Bengal) 154.95, 3.
Waterpolo: Men: Maharashtra: 11 bt Karnataka: 2; Punjab: 5 bt Bengal: 3; Kerala: 11 bt Delhi: 2. Women: Bengal: 5 bt Police: 1; Karnataka: 12 bt Manipur: 0.