Punjab’s Chahat Arora erased one of the longest standing records from the books as she powered her way to gold in 100m breaststroke on the final day of the swimming events of the 36th National Games at the Sardar Patel Aquatic Complex here on Saturday.
Chahat, who set the national record (1:13.61s) in the event at the recent National Championships in Guwahati, warmed up by equalling Sajani Shetty’s 25-year-old mark by clocking 1:17.35s in the heats which was held in the morning.
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In the final, Chahat was in a league of her own as she destroyed the field early and with a strong finish sank the old record with a timing of 1:14.42s. The Maharashtra duo of Jyoti Patil and Aarati Patil came second and third respectively. ``I am happy that my hard work has paid off. I was confident of breaking the record here as I had set the national mark in Guwahati nationals. I challenged myself and didn’t bother too much about my rivals, she said after the event.
Srihari Nataraj of Karnataka picked up his fourth gold medal in 100m freestyle with a meet record. Srihari beat a strong field which included Sajan Prakash. However, Srihari was never challenged in the race as he hit the front early and with a good finish clocked 50.41 to break Aaron D’Souza’s old mark (50.57s) set in 2015. Sajan Prakash finished a poor seventh.
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SSCB’s S.P. Likith swam to his third gold while winning the 100m breaststroke in 1:02.12s while Assam’s Shivangi Sarma with a late burst pipped favourite Maana Patel to take the gold in women’s 100m freestyle event. Tamil Nadu won the gold in 4x100m mixed relay in 4:011.08s beating back the challenge from Karnataka and Gujarat which were second and third respectively.
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