Dhaka: Indian swimmers began their campaign
at the 11th South Asian Games today with a splash, claiming
four out of five gold medals on offer and in the process set
three new meet records here on Friday.
Olympian Rehan Poncha earned India the first gold with a
timing of 2:12.65s in the men`s 200m Individual Medley.
Poncha was followed by Heshan Bandara Unamboowe
(2:13.68s) of Sri Lanka while local lad Mohammad Rubel Rana
took the bronze with a timing of 2:19.03s.
Shubha Chittaranjan (women`s 50m butterfly), Sandeep
Sejwal (men`s 200m breaststroke) and Aaron D`Souza (men`s 100m
freestyle) emerged winners with record breaking performance.
Shubha was ahead of her nearest rival Miniruwani
Shashiprabha Samarakoon of Sri Lanka as she clocked 29.49s,
eclipsing the previous record of 29.71.
The Lankan recorded 32.12s for the silver and Pakistan`s
Kiran Khan (32.18s) settled for the bronze medal.
Making it a hat-trick of gold was Olympian Sandeep Sejwal
(2:21.03s) who easily pipped local lad Mohammad Kamal Hossain
(2:27.54) as he bagged the top honours with a new meet record
in the 200m breaststroke.
India also bagged a bronze in the same event through
Anoop Augustine, who clocked 2:29.99s.
In the last event of the day, Aaron swam 100m freestyle
with a timing of 52.48s to shatter the previous best of 52.71s
for the fourth gold medal for the country.
Bangaldesh`s Mohammad Mahifizur Rahman (53.85s) and
Lanka`s Heshan Bandara Unamboowe (54.23s) took the silver and
bronze medals respectively.
In the women`s 50m breaststroke, Poorva Kiran Shetey
finished fifth in a field of eight with a timing of 37.13s.
The gold was pocketed by Sri Lanka`s Minekasashmini
Natasha Karunaratne (35.15s).
Bangladesh took both the silver and the bronze through
Doli Akhter (36.59s) and Mahfuza Khatun (35.43 respectively.