India swimmers win five medals, including four gold



India swimmers win five medals, including four gold 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.

PTI