Richa, Balakrishnan shine in Sr National Aquatics

Jaipur: Seasoned Richa Mishra hogged the lime light by setting a new record in the 200m individual medley, while M B Balakrishnan continued his impressive performance in the 64th Senior National Aquatic Championship.

Richa, who had been below par in the championships so far after picking the gold in the 800m freestyle event, bettered her previous timing of 2:25.00 secs, clocking 2:23.62 secs in the evening session.

Pooja R Alva of Karnataka bagged the silver with a timing of 2:29.12 secs while the bronze went to Goa`s Talasha Prabhu (2:31.87).

The 200m men`s individual medley was won by J Agnishwar (2:11.13 secs), who pipped Aaron D`souza (2.12.20) and Sandeep Sejwal (2.14.69) en route the title.

In the 100m backstroke event, Balakrishnan pipped current record holder Rehan Poncha of Karnataka to grab the gold with a timing of 58.30 secs.

Rehan won the silver clocking 59.98 while Railway`s Praveen Tokas produced a timing of 1:0.21 secs to settle for the bronze.

Maharashtra`s Jyotsana Pansare too had a good day in office, pocketing the gold in 100m women`s backstroke event with 1:08.65 secs. The silver was bagged by Fariha Zaman (1:09.23) while Heta Davy (1:10.45) grabbed the bronze.

Jyotsna is now at par with Surabhi Tipre with three individual gold medals.

Meanwhile, Olympian Veer Dhawal Khade became the fastest swimmer of the championships by winning the 50m freestyle event with a timing of 23.26 secs. Arjun JP won the silver in (24.69) while Anshul Kothari (24.78) had to be satisfied with the bronze.

In the women`s 50m freestyle event, Taslasha Prabhu clinched the gold with a timing of 27.50 secs while Sneha T (27.78) and Shubha C (28.07) grabbed the silver and bronze respectively.

Meanwhile, in water polo semifinals Railways defeated Maharashtra 13-5 while Kerala beat Bengal 6-5 to set up the title clash.

In women`s category of the event, Police got the better of Maharashtra 7-5 while Karnataka beat Kerala with identical scoreline to make it to the summit clash.

The day also belonged to Rajasthan`s Sristhi Tondon, who ended the state`s 43-year medal drought at the senior level by clinching the silver in the women`s 1500m freestyle event.

Reema Dutta was the last Rajasthan swimmer to have won a medal in the National championships way back in 1967.

Delighted with Tondon`s feat, Rajasthan Swimming Association president Mahant Kailash Sharma has announced a cash award of Rs one lakh and another for the swimmer.


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