Dominant Karnataka clinch 26th successive title


Though their closest rivals, Maharashtra, edged past to claim the top spot on the medals table with 26 gold, 19 silver and 12 bronze (57) as compared to Karnataka’s 23 gold, 28 silver and 20 bronze, it was not enough as the champions defended their title with 558 points.

Srihari Natraj and Rahul M led the State’s charge of the final day of the meet, winning their races in contrasting manner in front of a sparse yet boisterous crowd.

While Srihari capped of a memorable meet with another record-breaking performance in his Group I, 100M backstroke final, Rahul was made to stretch the distance en route to his gold in the 200M butterfly in the same age-group.

Competing in a strong field consisting of New Delhi’s Sansakr Tokas and the Maharashtra duo of Vedant Khadeparkar and Mihir Ambre, Rahul needed to be on the top of his game from the word go.

Though the Basavangudi Aquatic Centre trainee started well to stay with the leaders till 25 metres, his goggles slipped from his eyes and got stuck on his nose making life difficult for him in the middle. But that didn’t seem to bother Rahul as he surged ahead to touch the pad in 2:10.83 for the gold.

It was an easy sailing for Srihari who clinched the 100M backstroke in record time. The Global Swim Centre lad clocked 57.33 seconds for the gold, obliterating the previous best of 59.87 seconds set by New Delhi’s Vedant Seth in 2015.

The timing also helped him clock the best ever time by an Indian in the discipline across all age categories and competitions. He erased the previous best of 57.62 seconds held by Madhu PS of the Services set at the 2015 National Games.

16-year-old Srihari was named the best swimmer of the meet in Group I while the upcoming talent from Bengal Swadesh Mondal was adjudged the best in Group II.

Among the girls, Maharashtra’s Rayna Saldanha was awarded the best swimmer’s title in Group I while her State-mate Kenisha Gupta was named the best in Group II.

Bengal complete double

In water polo, Bengal completed a fine double winning both the boys’ and the girls’ title for the third time on the bounce.

Results: Swimming: Boys: Group I: 100M freestyle: Neel Roy (Mah) 53.16, 1; Xavier D’Souza (Goa) 53.47, 2; Gokulnath VS (TN) 53.62, 3.

1500M freestyle: Advait Page (MP) 16:06.43 (NMR; Old: 16:08.80, Saurabh Sangvekar, Kar, 2011) 1; Sushrut Kapse (Mah) 16:19.62, 2; Kushagra Rawat (Del) 16:46.92, 3.

100M backstroke: Srihari Natraj (Kar) 57.33 (NMR; Old: 59.87, Vedant Seth, Del, 2015) 1; Xavier D’Souza (Goa) 1:00.65, 2; Anurag Dagar (Del) 1:02.29, 3.

200M butterfly: Rahul M (Kar) 2:10.83, 1; Vedant Khandeparkar (Mah) 2:10.93, 2; Mihir Ambre (Mah) 2:11.13, 3.

Group II: 100M freestyle: Vikkas P (TN) 55.38 (NMR; Old: 55.47, Sanjay CJ, Kar, 2015) 1; Tanish Mathew (Kar) 55.54, 2; Veer Khatkar (Har) 55.98, 3.

100M backstroke: Vedant Bapna (Mah) 1:02.41 (NMR; Old: 1:02.41, Srihari Natraj, Kar, 2015) 1; Tanmay Das (Del) 1:02.51, 2; Aaryan Bhosale (Mah) 1:02.68, 3.

200M butterfly: Param Birthare (MP) 2:11.27 (NMR; Old: 2:12.09, Aaron D’Souza, Kar, 2006) 1; Tanish Mathew (Kar) 2:12.29, 2; Prasidha Krishna (Kar) 2:12.80, 3.

Girls: Group I: 100M freestyle: Rayna Saldanha (Mah) 1:00.13, 1; Sadhvi Dhuri (Mah) 1:00.87, 2; Annie Jain (MP) 1:01.03, 3.

800M freestyle: Aryan Nehra (Guj) 9:00.56, 1; Zidane Sayed (Goa) 9:16.55, 2; Raj Relekar (Kar) 9:24.70, 3.

100M butterfly: Trisha Karkhanis (Mah) 1:05.13, 1; Mayuri Lingaraju (Kar) 1:05.95, 2; Firdoush Kayamkhani (Raj) 1:07.71, 3.

400M individual medley: Firdoush Kayamkhani (Raj) 5:31.18, 1; Jhanati Rajesh (Kar) 5:31.52, 2; Rutuja Talegaonkar (Mah) 5:31.80, 3.

4x100M freestyle relay: Maharashtra 4:15.70, 1; Karnataka 4:18.89, 2; Bengal 4:24.45, 3.

Group II: 100M freestyle: Kenisha Gupta (Mah) 1:00.26, 1; Khushi Dinesh (Kar) 1:02.80, 2; Astha Choudhary (Asm) 1:03.05, 3.

100M butterfly: Astha Choudhary (Asm) 1:07.25, 1; Priyanga Pugazharasu (TN) 1:08.65, 2; Riniki Bordoloi (Del) 1:09.58, 3.

400M individual medley: Jahnavi Goli (Tel) 5:35.88, 1; Seeya Bijlani (Mah) 5:40.25, 2; Saachi G (Kar) 5:42.14, 3.

4x100M freestyle relay: Maharashtra 4:16.21, 1; Karnataka 4:17.47, 2; Tamil Nadu 4:29.55, 3.

Water polo: Boys: Final: Bengal: 8 bt Maharashtra: 6; 3/4th place: Kerala: 16 bt Karnataka: 1.

Girls: Final: Bengal: 8 bt Karnataka: 3; 3/4th place: Maharashtra: 9 bt Kerala: 6.

Individual awards: Best swimmer: Boys: Group I: Srihar Natraj (Kar); Group II: Swadesh Mondal (Ben).

Girls: Group I: Rayna Saldanha (Mah); Group II: Kenisha Gupta (Mah).

Team Championships: Boys: Group I: Karnataka (132 points); Group II: Karnataka (142 points).

Girls: Group I: Maharahstra (141 points); Group II: Karnataka (144 points).

Overall Championships: Karnataka (558 points).

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