Srihari Nataraj sets new record

Srihari Nataraj

If Srihari Nataraj predictably rewrote his meet record, Virdhawal Khade powered his way to the same and Khushagra Rawat endured through to his as four new meet records were set at the 73rd Glenmark Senior National Aquatic Championship here at the Prakash Taran Pushkar Bhavan here on Sunday.

In 200m backstroke, Srihari touched the pad in 2:02.29 to better his own previous meet record of 2:02.37 set last year. He was followed by statemate Siva S (2:07.11) and Aravind M (2:10.24) of Services.

This, however, was not his personal best which is 2:01.70.

“This race was more tiring than my best time in Budapest. But I know what I have to work on,” the lanky BSRC trainee said. “I need to convince myself to go faster. I know I have the speed and stamina. It’s just a matter of guts,” he added.

Meanwhile, Virdhawal broke his own meet record in the heats and bettered it again en route to the gold medal in the 50m freestyle final.

In the morning, he clocked 22.70 to rewrite his record of 22.71 sets in 2009 and followed that with a blistering swim of 22.44 in the final. 

With this time, he also made the B qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics, although Khade brushed that aside. “B cut doesn’t make any difference,” he said. “I have 6-8 months, I think I can get the A cut.”

The performance was also a welcome relief for the experienced swimmer.

“World Championships were a disappointment for me because I got injured just before that. The ACL injury is still not 100% so I’m still 15-20% below what I can be. It’s okay while swimming but whenever I have to push off or turn, it’s a bit difficult,” he remarked.

The other individual record of the day came from Rawat who stopped the clock at 15:41.45 in the 1500m freestyle event to rewrite Advait Page’s previous best of 15:42.67 set last year.

Maharashtra team took the gold and meet record in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay with a time of 4:02.90 to finish ahead of Karnataka (4:09.88) and Tamil Nadu (4:13.25)

Suvana Baskar clinched silver in the 200m backstroke event for Karnataka while the State team took the gold in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

Results: Men: 50m freestyle: Virdhawal Khade (Mah) 22.44 (NMR, OR: 22.71, Virdhawal Khade, 2009), 1; Viraj Prabhu (Railways) 23.39, 2; Mihir Ambre (Mah) 23.76, 3.

1500m freestyle: Kushagra Rawat (Del) 15:41.45 (NMR; OR: 15:42.67, Advait Page, MP, 2018) 1; Sushrut Kapse (Railways) 16:29.27, 2; Aneesh Gowda (Kar) 16:32.28, 3.

200m backstroke: Srihari Nataraj (Kar) 2:02.29 (NMR; OR: 2:02.37, Srihari Nataraj, Kar, 2018) 1; Siva S (Kar) 2:07.11; 2; Arvind Mani (Services) 2:10.24, 3.

4x100m freestyle relay: Karnataka 3:30.45, 1; Services 3:31.04, 2; Maharashtra 3:31.18, 3.

Women: 200m backstroke: Maana Patel (Guj) 2:21.74, 1; Suvana Baskar (Kar) 2:22.30, 2; Soubrity Mondal (Ben) 2:23.55, 3.

400m individual medley: Richa Mishra (Pol) 5:05.49, 1; Apeksha Fernandes (Mah) 5:12.91, 2; Shakti B (TN) 5:13.19, 3.

4x100m freestyle relay: Maharashtra 4:02.90 (NMR; OR: 4:03.05, Maharashtra, 2014) 1; Karnataka 4:09.88, 2; Tamil Nadu 4:13.25, 3.

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