Sajan, Srihari dazzle

Sajan, Srihari dazzle

It was a thrill-a-minute ride on the third day of the 72nd Glenmark Senior National Aquatic Championship here as Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash had the spectators in raptures as they pushed the limits.

The BR Ambedkar Aquatic Complex continued to keep it’s reputation of producing uber fast timings as Sajan first awed the home supporters with a 3:54.93 en route to his gold in the men’s 400M freestyle with the added incentive of smashing Saurabh Sangvekar’s national record of 3:56.17 set in 2014.

Karnataka’s Srihari, who lives by the saying ‘records are meant to be broken’ then toppled another of his records (2:02.83) set at the Asian Games earlier this year.

Turning out against a tough field featuring Tamil Nadu’s T Sethu Manickavel and Karnataka’s Siva Sridhar, Srihari was off the blocks quickly and just kept pushing his lead to come home in a time of 2:02.37, the next best being Sethu (2:06.21).

It was Srihari’s second individual gold after the 50M backstroke title on Thursday. He had also won the silver in the 200M freestyle.

Sajan has turned out to be the real star of these championships with a hundred per cent record in every event he has participated in. A win in the 100M butterfly on Friday handed the 25-year-old his fourth yellow metal of the meet (200M freestyle, 200M medley, 400M freestyle and 100M butterfly).

Defending champions Karnataka had started the meet in sluggish fashion but have bettered their tally on a daily basis. Srihari wasn’t the only one who took the top step on the podium on Friday, with the women’s 4x200M freestyle team stroking their way to victory.

Smruti Mahalingam, Divya Ghosh, Damini Gowda and Khushi Dinesh, who took pole position after the heats, timed their race to perfection and ensured the day ended on a high for the defending champions.

Other individual medallists adding to Karnataka’s tally were Suvana Baskar (silver in the women’s 200M backstroke), Deeksha Ramesh (silver in the women’s 50M freestyle), Damini (bronze, 100M butterfly) and Khushi (bronze, 1500M freestyle). The mixed 4x50M freestyle team (Likith SP, Deeksha, Sneha and Srihari) also finished third.

Results: Men: 400M freestyle: Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 3:54.93, 1 (National record, Previous: 3:56.17, Saurabh Sangvekar, 2014); Kushagra Rawat (Delhi) 3:58.40, 2; Aryan Makhija (SFI) 4:01.10, 3.

200M backstroke: Srihari Nataraj (Karnataka) 2:02.37 (National record, Previous: 2:02.83 Srihari, 2018 Asian Games), Sethu Manickavel (TN) 2:06.21, Abbasuddin (TN) 2:09.36, 3.

100M butterfly: Sajan Prakash (Kerala) 53.46, 1 (NMR, Previous: 53.83, Sajan, 2017); Supriya Mondal (RSPB) 54.70, 2; Avinash Mani (Karnataka) 55.89, 3.

Women: 1500M freestyle: Richa Mishra (Police) 17:41.76, 1; Bhavika Dugar (TN) 17:58.31, 2; Khushi Dinesh (Karnataka) 18.03.18, 3.

200M backstroke: Maana Patel (Gujarat) 2:20.42, 1; Suvana Baskar 2:25.01, 2; Soubrity Mondal (Bengal) 2:27.60, 3.

100M butterfly: Trisha Karkhanis (SFI) 1:03.62, 1; Divya Satija (Haryana) 1:04.39, 2; Damini Gowda (Karnataka) 1:05.36, 3.

50M freestyle: Kenisha Gupta (SFI) 26.92, 1; Deeksha Ramesh (Kar) 27.12, 2; Avantika Chavan (RSPB) 27.23, 3.

4x200 freestyle: Karnataka 9:05.55, 1; Tamil Nadu 9:13.67, 2; SFI 9:15.55, 3.

Mixed 4x50 freestyle: SFI 1:40.00, 1; (NMR, Previous: 1:41.54, RSPB); RSPB 1:40.70, 2; Karnataka 1:42.47, 3.


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