Srihari leads Karnataka surge

Srihari Nataraj. DH PHOTO

It's very hard to keep a champion side down and Karnataka showed just that on the second day of the 72nd Glenmark Senior National Aquatic Championship here.

A lacklustre opening day could not break the spirit of the defending champions as they bulldozed their way to three gold medals (men's 50M backstroke, 4x100M medley, and women's 200M breaststroke to assert their dominance.

A heavy downpour in the afternoon did little to dampen the fire of the swimmers as three individual and one team record was re-written at the Dr BR Ambedkar Aquatic Complex here on Wednesday.

Ageless wonder Richa Mishra and talented Karnataka youngsters Srihari Nataraj and Saloni Dalal splashed their way to India best performances, while the SFI eves' collective effort put them on top of the charts.

Police's 36-year-old Richa (4:59.17) became the first Indian woman to go sub-five minutes in the 400M medley breaking her own mark of 5:01.08 in the Asian Age Group in 2007. Next, Srihari, who seems to be getting better with each tournament, bettered his Asian Games 50M backstroke timing by 0.01 seconds, clocking 26.18 seconds in the 50M backstroke.

Defending champions' lone gold medallist from day one, Saloni, set the third record of the evening with a superb 2:41.88 in the women's 200M breaststroke, obliterating her previous best of 2:43.01 set at the 2017 Junior Nationals.

The SFI women's quartet of Yuga Birnale, Trisha, Kareena Shankta and Kenisha) denied Karnataka the gold in the 4x100 medley with a breathtaking display of 4:29.81 to claim the gold, erasing the mark of 4:30.69 set by team India at the Asian Age Group in 2011.

The Karnataka quartet of Srihari, Likith BR, Avinash Mani and Rahul got their act together in the men's 4x100 medley, the final event of the day, to triumph in 3:51.04.

The adrenaline is pumping and high octane performances from Thursday have set the tone for another exciting three days.

1500M freestyle: Advait Page (MP) 15:42.67, 1 (NMR; Previous Sajan Prakash 15:45.83 in Kolkata 2014); Aryan Makhija (SFI) 15:43.06, 2; Kushagra Rawat (Delhi) 15:57.87, 3.

50M backstroke: Srihari Nataraj (Kar) 26.18, 1 (National record, Previous 26.19, Srihari Nataraj, Jakarta 2018), Madhu PS (SSCB) 26.69, 2; Vedant Seth (Haryana) 27.32, 3.

200M breaststroke: Sandeep Sejwal (Delhi) 2:15.76, 1; S Danush (TN) 2:19.32, 2; S Arun (SSCB) 2:20.39, 3.

4x100 medley: Karnataka (Srihari, Likith, Avinash, Rahul) 3:51.04, 1; SSCB 3:51.75, 2; Delhi, 3:51.85, 3.

Women's: 50M backstroke: Maana Patel (Guj) 30.11, 1; Suvana Baskar (Kar) 30.87, 2; Nivya Raja (TN) 31.50, 3.

200M breaststroke: Saloni Dalal (Kar) 2:41.88, 1 (National record, Previous: 2:43.01, Saloni, Junior Nationals 2017); Kareena Shankta (SFI) 2:44.85, 2; Harshitha Jayaram (RSPB) 2:46.36, 3.

400M medley: Richa Mishra (Police) 4:59.17, 1 (National record, Previous 5:01.08, Richa Mishra, 2007); Sayani Ghosh (Bengal) 5:20.59, 2; B Shakthi (Tamil Nadu) 5:21.64, 3.

4x100 medley: SFI 4:29.81, 1; Karnataka 4:33.92, 2; RSPB 4:34.47, 3.

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Srihari leads Karnataka surge

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