Karnataka bank on fresh faces to deliver

Karnataka bank on fresh faces to deliver

Karnataka bank on fresh faces to deliver

Karnataka will look to a new crop of swimmers, led by Adith Smaran Olety and Nina Venkatesh, to spur them on when the 34th edition of the Glenmark Sub-junior National Aquatic Championships start here on Wednesday.

The sub-junior segment will be the first of a double header at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji sports complex, with the Junior Nationals set to follow on July 3.

The State side has struggled to match their fierce rivals Maharashtra in this category and the dominance of the team from the west of India was evident last year when they clinched the overall title by a healthy margin, thanks to inspiring performances from Vedika Amin and Nitya Kinvasara. But back at the venue where they won their last Sub-junior title in 2015, the Karnataka side will be hoping to repeat that performance during what is predicted to be a rainy week.

Adith had an eventful State meet a few weeks ago. The Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre trainee will be hoping to continue that form on the National stage. He will be swimming the 50-metre and the 100-metre breaststroke while his club-mate Utkarsh Patil will look to win the top prize in the 100-metre freestyle and the individual medley races.

The best swimmer in Group IV last year, Vidith Shankar, too will be hoping for a good show. The Dolphin Aquatics trainee hasn’t had the best of seasons since graduating to Group III this year. At the State meet, the top spot eluded him as he had to settle for silver in the 100M backstroke, 100M breaststroke and the 200M individual medley. He will be eager to change that here.

In the girls’ segment, the State side has pinned its hopes on Nina and Ridhima Kumar.

The 12-year-old Nina will take to the pool for the freestyle and breaststroke races, and if her performances at the State meet is anything to go by, one can expect this swimmer from Dolphin Aquatics to produce fine results.

While Karnataka has a handful of swimmers who can tilt the title in their favour, it won’t be easy especially, Maharashtra keen to assert their might. The champions will have their hopes pinned on the likes of Anvesh Prasade, Anshuman Jhingran, Vedika Amin and Palak Dhami in Group III.

Though Group IV can be unpredictable with a number of first-time swimmers giving their best at the National stage, the likes of Utkarsh Gor of Maharashtra, Karanataka’s Krish Sukumar, Harshita S of Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh’s Anushka Salaskar will hope to make a mark for themselves, banking on the fine performances in their respective State meets.

Green water leaves officials red-faced

Officials at the 34th Sub-junior National Aquatic Championships were busy running for solution after colour of the water in the pool at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex turned green overnight.

Two of the three pools that will be used for the meet were nowhere close to the expected standards. The under-water lane markers were barely visible while one couldn’t ascertain the depth of the adjacent diving  pool.

According to local authorities, persistent rain over the past two days had disturbed the chemical combination that helps in maintaining the quality of water in the pool. “It’s because of the rains. There are a few things that we can’t control and this is one of them,” said Dinkar Sawant, a coach and a member of the local organising body.

“But we have taken necessary corrective steps and we hope that by the time the events begin tomorrow, the pool will be in a good shape.”

However, concerns were obvious on the faces of a few parents. “This looks bad. It could be because of the rain, I don’t know. But if one knew that a National meet is scheduled to be held, then things should have been taken care of,” a parent said.

One of the coaches from the hosts’ side, Smita Digvikar, too voiced her displeasure. “When I turned up this morning, it wasn’t this bad. But now it’s difficult to say how the swimmers will race in such conditions,” she said.