The budding star of Indian swimming, the 14-year-old Hashika Ramachandra underlined her class by winning the sixth gold medal of the 36th National Games at Sardar Patel Aquatic Complex here on Friday.
The Karnataka girl won back-to-back gold medals on penultimate day and set a new meet record in 400m freestyle after warding off a tough challenge from Delhi’s Bhavya Sachdeva. Hashika touched in 4:32.17s to topple Aakansha Vora’s old mark (4:32.50) set in 2015. Hashika also won the 200m Individual medley event in 2:26.23s for her sixth gold medal of the games.
Veteran Sajan Prakash picked up two gold medals to take his gold medal tally to five. Sajan Prakash in a storming final 50 metres beat back the challenge from Karnataka’s S.Siva and MP’s Advait Page to set a new mark in 200m IM.
At the homestretch Sajan peeled away from Siva and Advait Page, despite a terrific sprint couldn’t catch up the Kerala swimmer who clocked 2:05.81s to break P.S. Madhu’s old mark (2:08.98) set in 2015. Sajan also won the 400m freestyle in 3:58.11s after nosing ahead of Aneesh S.Gowda in the final 25 metres. Advait Page came up with his customary fast finish to pip Aneesh for the silver.
The 50m backstroke races didn’t produce any surprises with Sreehari Nataraj (Karnataka) and Maana Patel (Gujarat) winning the gold in men’s and women’s sections with meet records.
Sreehari led from start to clock 25.65s and improved the record (25.88s) he set in the heats in the morning. Maana Patel blitzed the field to win 29.77s and she also broke her own record (29.81s) set in the heats. Karnataka won the 4x100m mixed freestyle event to take its gold medal tally to 18 in this games.