Akshay wins 400 freestyle

Karnataka swimmers put up stellar show on super Saturday

Akshay wins 400 freestyle

Akhilesh Ram of Karnataka en route to the Group II 400M freestyle at the 37th  Junior National Aquatic Championship in Bangalore on Saturday.  DH photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

The stage is also set for an exciting final day on Sunday after the host swimmers came up with yet another strong performance on the penultimate day.

Apart from Akshay, Pranam B with a double and Akhilesh Ram led Karnataka’s charge on Saturday.

In boys’ Group I 400M freestyle, the margin of victory was so narrow that the spectators went silent for a few seconds before the official announcement confirming Akshay’s victory brought loud cheers at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre pool.

Akshay touched the 50-metre mark at 31.00 seconds but Saurabh made good ground to pip the Karnataka swimmer to second place at the end of the second lap. From then, the two went neck-to-neck but the KC Reddy Swim Centre trainee touched the 200M just ahead of his Maharashtra rival.

There was a further twist as Jaywant Vijay Kumar of Tamil Nadu steadily reduced the gap with Akshay, leaving Saurabh in third spot.

However, in the final lap, Saurabh regained his composure to go past Jaywant and give a strong challenge to Akshay in the home stretch. Akshay managed to squeeze past his rival and touched the pad in four minutes 15.92 seconds.

Saurabh claimed silver in 4:15.93 and Jaywant the bronze (4:18.65). It was the 17-year-old Akshay’s third gold of the meet.

Pranam collected two more gold medals on Saturday to add to the three he has already won here. The boys’ Group II swimmer clinched the 200M backstroke (2:22.94) and 200M individual medley (2:24.97) crowns. Pranam had earlier won the 200 free, 50 and 100 backstroke gold.

Akhilesh cruised home in 4:35.19 to claim the boys’ Group II 400 free gold. Five more national records were also rewritten on Saturday. Surabhi Tipre of Maharashtra claimed her fourth national record in as many events to stay on course to win the best swimmer award in the girls’ Group I. Surabhi timed 9:23.79 to erase her own mark of 9:41.71.

Talasha Prabhu of Goa (girls’ Group I 200M IM), Himanshu Dhakad of Madhya Pradesh (boys’ Group II 50M butterfly) and Maharashtrians Ananya Panigrahi (girls’ Group I 200M backstroke) and Kanchi Desai (girls’ Group II 200M individual medley) were the other record breakers.

In water polo competition, Karnataka girls went down to Maharashtra 0-3, while their boys lost 2-11, also to Maharashtra.

Results: Boys: Group I: 400M freestyle: Akshay Krishna (Kar) 4:15.92, 1; Saurabh Sangvekar (Mah) 4:15.93, 2; Jaywant Vijaya Kumar (TN) 4:18.65, 3.
200M backstroke: Ajey Moghe (Mah) 2:19.43, 1; Gopinath Kayal (WB) 2:20.63, 2; Jayant Mehlawat (Del) 2:23.08, 3.
50M butterfly: Gopinath Kayal (WB) 27.11, 1; Sajan Prakash (TN) 27.22, 2; Apurva Sharma (Mah) 27.30, 3.
200M individual medley: Rahul Choksi (Guj) 2:19.79, 1; Sachin Kumar Maurya (UP) 2:23.48, 2; Srinivas M D (Kar) 2:23.54, 3.
Group II: 400M freestyle: Akhilesh Ram (Kar) 4:35.19, 1; Viraj Dhokale (Mah) 4:39.13, 2; Sudhanshu Sharma (Mah) 4:41.59, 3.
200M backstroke: Pranam B (Kar) 2:22.94, 1; Arvind M (Kar) 2:27.17, 2; Gautham Selvakumar (TN) 2:31.15, 3.
50M butterfly: Himanshu Dhakad (MP) 27.66; NR. Old record (27.71, K Divakar, Tamil Nadu 2006) 1; Supriya Mondal (WB) and Ranit Dey (WB) 28.40, 2.
200M individual medley: Pranam B (Kar) 2:24.97, 1; Arvind M (Kar) 2:26.76, 2; Deepak Kumar Maurya (UP) 2:28.83, 3.
Girls: Group I: 800M freestyle: Surabhi Tipre (Mah) 9:23.79; NR. Old record (9:41.71, Surabhi Tipre, Mah, 2008) 1; Srishti Tandon (Raj) 9:53.26, 2; Sri Lakshmi Gorur (Kar) 9:57.20, 3.
200M backstroke: Ratna Mondal (WB) 2:37.00, 1; R Sushmitha (TN) 2:37.73, 2; Kavya Bhandekar (Mah) 2:40.28, 3.
200M individual medley: Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 2:31.64; NR. Old record (2:32.53, Tejaswini V, Karnataka, 2006) 1; Bhoomi R Motwani (Kar) 2:34.61, 2; M Raghavi (TN) 2:35.88, 3.
Group II: 1500M freestyle: Vani Sahni (Dli) 19:37.84, 1; Sitara Niranjan (TN) 20:15.20, 2; Ashritha N Bharadwaj (Kar) 20:32.08, 3.
200M backstroke: Ananya Panigrahi (Mah) 2:32.25; NR (bettered national record in heats: 2:33.06). Old record (2:33.74, Ananya Panigrahi, Maharashtra, 2009) 1; S Vilassini (TN) 2:44.26, 2; Ishwarya Bhandari (Kar) 2:45.80, 3.
200M individual medley: Kanchi Desai (Mah) 2:31.43; NR. Old record (2:33.12, Madhavi Giri, Karnataka, 2005) 1; Priyanka Priyadarshini (Del) 2:36.27, 2; Rutuja Udeshi (Mah) 2:42.04, 3.
Water polo: Boys: Bengal bt Kerala 6-5; Maharashtra: 11 (Akshay 4, Shreyas Vaidya 3, Uday Uttekar 2, Nikhil Shinde, Yash Thakur) bt Karnataka: 2 (Lohith K, Avinash A Rao).
Girls: Maharashtra: 3 (Mayuri 1, Priyanka T, Sonali A) bt Karnataka: 0; Kerala bt Delhi 13-0.

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