Karnataka reign supreme

Railways second; Srihari, Shivani adjudged best swimmers

Karnataka reign supreme

 Karnataka continued their reign at the Senior National Aquatic Championships for the third year running by clinching the overall title at the 71st Senior National Aquatic Championships at the Prakash Taran Pushkar Bhavan here on Wednesday.

Karnataka won the crown with a tally of 238 points while Railways was a distant second with 168 points to their name.

The dominance was also evident on the medals table with the champions taking the top spot with nine gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. Railways were second with seven gold, eight silver and five gold medals while Tamil Nadu finished third five gold, six silver and six bronze to their name.

There were no surprises in the individual prizes as Karnataka’s Srihari Nataraj, who set a new national record and two meet records en route his clean sweep of the backstroke medals, was named the best swimmer in the men’s section while Haryana’s Shivani Kataria was named the best female swimmer. The Rio Olympian won the 100M, 200M and the 400M freestyle gold apart from the 100M butterfly title, while setting new meet records in the 100M and 200M freestyle events.

The final day of the meet saw three new meet records being set. While Srihari ensured that he signed off on a high, setting a new mark in the 100M backstroke, Kerala’s Sajan Prakash too was in his elements winning 200M butterfly, without much trouble.

Taking to the pool for the 100M backstroke, Srihari was up for the task as he kept pace with the reigning champion PS Madhu of the Services. Though both, swimming in adjacent lanes turned around the same time at the 50-metre mark, Srihari had enough energy to push ahead to take a slender lead and clinch the gold in 57.80 seconds. The timing also meant he obliterated the previous best of 57.85 seconds set last year by Madhu.

In the 200M butterfly final, Sajan put up a dominant performance to win the race in 1:59.12. The timing helped him erase his own meet record of 1:59.35 set at the Ranchi meet in 2016.

In the final race of the meet, it was smooth sailing for Railways as the quartet of Aaron D’Souza, Avantika Chawan, Sandeep Sejwal and Aditi Dhumatkar recorded a comfortable win in the 4x50M mixed medley relay. They clocked 1:51.06 for the win. The timing helped them better the previous meet record of 1:53.42 set by Gujarat in 2016.

DH News Service

Results: Men: 800M freestyle: Saurabh Sangvekar (Railways) 8:23.84, 1; Advait Page (Madhya Pradesh) 8:25.93, 2; AS Anand (Services) 8:26.76, 3.

100M backstroke: Srihari Nataraj (Karnataka) 57.20 (NMR; Old: 57.85, PS Madhu, Services, 2016) 1; PS Madhu (Services) 57.28, 2; Aravind Mani (Services) 58.34, 3.

200M butterfly: Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 1:59.12 (NMR; Old: 1:59.35, Sajan Prakash, Railways, 2016) 1; Supriyo Mondal (Railways) 2:02.91, 2; Avinash Mani (Karnataka) 2:03.27, 3.

Women: 400M freestyle: Shivani Kataria (Haryana) 4:28.29, 1; Malavika V (Karnataka) 4:28.51, 2; Khushi Dinesh (Karnataka) 4:36.59, 3.

100M backstroke: VKR Meenakshi (Tamil Nadu) 1:07.27, 1; Yuga Birnale (Maharashtra) 1:07.68, 2; Suvana Baskar (Karnataka) 1:08.31, 3.

200M butterfly: Richa Mishra (Police) 2:22.86, 1; Damini Gowda (Karnataka) 2:24.08, 2; Trisha Karkhanis (Maharashtra) 2:27.05, 3.

4x50M mixed medley relay: Railways 1:51.06 (NMR: Old: 1:53.42, Gujarat, 2016) 1; Karnataka 1:52.62, 2; Maharashtra 1:54.25, 3.

Best swimmer: Men: Srihari Nataraj (Karnataka); Women: Shivani Kataria (Haryana).

Team Championships: Swimming: Men: Railways 139 points; Women: Karnataka: 133 points.

Diving: Men: Services; Women: Railways.

Waterpolo: Men: Railways, 1; Services, 2; Police, 3.

Women: Maharashtra, 1; Kerala, 2; Police, 3.

Overall: Karnataka 238 points, 1; Railways: 168 points, 2.

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