Courtesy: Swimming Federation of India
Champions Karnataka continued their stranglehold on Indian swimming as they clinched the overall title for the 27th time on the bounce at the 73rd Glenmark Senior National Aquatic Championships that concluded at the Prakash Tarun Pushkar Bhavan on Wednesday.
The team was led by a fine show from their superstar Srihari Nataraj who clinched the best swimmer among the men for his four gold medals and three meet records. Haryana’s Shivani Kataria was adjudged best among women for her feat of two golds, one silver and a meet record.
Speaking after receiving the honor, Srihari said: “I didn’t have a set plan coming into the meet. I was tired since I was heading into the Nationals on the back of a tiring Junior World Championships (in Hungary). The idea was to defend my back (backstroke) titles and enjoy my time here. I am happy with what I have achieved, now the target will be the Asian Age-group Championships.”
Shivani too echoed similar sentiments, with her focus firmly set on the Asian Age-group Championships that get underway in Bengaluru from September 24. “I would say the Championships were fine. The focus has been on the Asian Age-group Championships, and I am looking to do well there. I am hoping to make the Olympic cut this time. I am around two seconds behind the ‘A’ cut and that’s what I am looking at cutting down,” she said.
The final day of the meet too had some nail-biting events in the offing as the swimmers went all out to ensure that they made a great impression on the national selectors ahead of the Indian squad for the Asian Age-group meet is announced.
Srihari was once again in his elements as he set a new meet record in the 100m backstroke final. The Bangalore Swimming Research Centre-trainee was much ahead of his competitors by the 25-metre mark and went on to clock 55.63 seconds for the gold, obliterating the previous record of 56.53 seconds he had set last year.
Later, one of India’s upcoming swimmer Kenisha Gupta too went on to get her name in the record book with a fine swim to win the 100m freestyle gold. The Maharashtra swimmer clocked 58.26 seconds for the gold, obliterating the previous best of 58.51 seconds set by Shivani Kataria of Haryana in 2017.
In a welcome move, The Swimming Federation of India announced cash rewards for coaches of swimmers who break meet records. Coach A.C. Jayaraj, Nihar Ameen and Partha Pratim Majumder received the awards for this edition of the championship. The coach received Rs 10,000 for each record broken at a meet.
Men: 200m freestyle: Kushagra Rawat (Del) 1:53.44, 1; Anand AS (Services) 1:54.97, 2; Aaron Fernandes (Mah) 1:55.71, 3.
100m breaststroke: Likith SP (Kar) 1:02.59, 1; Danush S (TN) 1:04.18, 2; M Lohith (Railways) 1:05.08, 3.
200m butterfly: Sajan Prakash (Pol) 2:00.13, 1; Supriya Mondal (Railways) 2:03.41, 2; Tanish George Mathew (Kar) 2:04.23, 3.
Women: 800m freestyle: Richa Mishra (Pol) 9:22.50, 1; Khushi Dinesh (Kar) 9:24.81, 2; Bhavya Sachdeva (Del) 9:31.41, 3.
100m breaststroke: Kareena Shankta (Mah) 1:14.97, 1; Saloni Dalal (Kar) 1:15.89, 2; Chahat Arora (Pun) 1:16.36, 3.
100m backstroke: Ridhima Veerendra Kumar (Kar) 1:07.19, 1; Suvana C Baskar (Kar) 1:07.22, 2; Soubrity Mondal (Ben) 1:07.41, 3.
200m butterfly: Apeksha Fernandes (Mah) 2:23.17, 1; Anvesha Girish (Kar) 2:25.43, 2; Shakthi B (TN) 2:25.78, 3.
100m freestyle: Kenisha Gupta (Mah) 58.26, 1; Shivani Kataria (Har) 59.21, 2; Sadhvi Dhuri (Mah) 1:00.06, 3.
Men: Srihari Nataraj (Kar, 4 golds & 3 NMR).
Women: Shivani Kataria (Har, 2 gold, 1 silver & 1 NMR).
Men: Champion: Karnataka (138 points), Runner-up: Services (88 points).
Women: Champion: Maharashtra (129 points), Runner-up: Karnataka (108 points).
Overall champions (swimming): Karnataka 246 points.
Men: Champion: Services (30 points), Runner-up: Railways (26 points)
Women: Champion: Railways (27 points), Runner-up: Madhya Pradesh (13 points)
Men: 1. Services, 2. Railways, 3. Kerala
Women: 1. Maharashtra, 2. Bengal, 3. Kerala, 4. Karnataka.