Srihari Nataraj strikes gold in 100-metre freestyle

After having won six gold and a silver in the KIYG last year, Karnataka swimmer Nataraj was merely focused on improved timings on his way to a rich collection of gold.

Swimmer Srihari Nataraj with his seven gold medals in the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune on Tuesday.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

Srihari Nataraj brought a fitting climax to swimming with his seventh gold in 100-metre freestyle, even as he improved his national record in 50-metre backstroke to 26.16 seconds, in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) at the Balewadi Stadium here on Tuesday.

After having won six gold and a silver in the KIYG last year, the Karnataka swimmer was merely focused on improved timings on his way to a rich collection of gold.

“I wanted to do 25 seconds here’’, said Srihari, who punched the water in disgust when he saw the time on the clock after his 50-metre backstroke, even though it was an improvement on his Asian Games performance.

READ| Srihari Nataraj: Born for the pool

With five individual gold medals in freestyle and backstroke, apart from two relay gold medals, there was nothing much he could complain against himself. The long delays between the races possibly took the sting out of his enthusiasm and eagerness to get to his target time in his favourite event.

Srihari said that he would go back home to prepare for the board examinations before getting ready for the World Championship in July, and get the qualification for it.

The other best swimmer of the country Maana Patel won the women’s 50-metre backstroke with a time of 30.48 seconds, to beat Nivya Raja of Tamil Nadu by a big margin.

READ|

Prachi Tokas won her third gold in 1500 metre freestyle in under-17 section, after having won the 400 and 800 metres events earlier.

Coach Carles Subirana of Spain, who trains Prachi in Delhi, expressed satisfaction with the work done by his ward.

Karnataka topped the medals table with 21 gold, 17 silver and 13 bronze. Delhi followed with 19 gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze. Host Maharashtra was pushed to the third place with 18 gold 14 silver and 10 bronze, ahead of Tamil Nadu which had seven gold, 12 silver and six bronze.

Delhi won the under-17 team championship with 242 points, ahead of Karnataka (201) and Maharashtra (145). Host Maharashtra topped the under-21 section with 192 points, ahead of Karnataka (187) and Delhi (108).

The results:

Men:

Under-21:

100m freestyle: 1. Srihari Nataraj (Kar) 52.37; 2. Xavier D’Souza (Goa) 53.15; 3. Aaron Fernandes (Mah) 54.11.

50m backstroke: 1. Srihari Nataraj (Kar) 26.16; 2. Xavier D’Souza (Goa) 26.74; 3. Vedant Seth (Har) 27.14.

200m breaststroke: 1. M. Lohith (AP) 2:22.20; 2. Danush Suresh (TN) 2:23.97; 3. SP Likith (Kar) 2:24.48.

Under-17:

100m freestyle: 1. Veer Khatkar (Har) 53.54; 2. CJ Sanjay (Kar) 53.87; 3. Gyan Sandhan Kashyap (Del) 54.33.

50m backstroke: 1. Tanmay Das (Del) 27.82; 2. K. Mohithkumar (TN) 28.20; 3. Nanak Moolchandani (Del) 28.36.

200m breaststroke: 1. Swadesh Mondal (Del) 2:26.91; 2. Srideep Mandal (WB) 2:32.17; 3. LItheesh Gowda (Kar) 2:33.10.

Women:

Under-21:

50m backstroke: 1. Maana Patel (Guj) 30.48; 2. Nivya Raja (TN) 32.23; 3. Yuga Birnale (Mah) 32.25.

200m breaststroke: 1. Jyoti Patil (Mah) 2:43.54; 2. Kalyani Saxena (Guj) 2:46.44; 3. Harshita Jayaram (Kar) 2:49.37.

100m butterfly: 1. Firdoush Kayamkhani (Raj) 1:07.1; 2. Aakanksha Buchade (Mah) 1:08.45; 3. Suman Patil (Goa) 1:09.68.

Under-17:

1500m freestyle: 1. Prachi Tokas (Del) 18:09.31; 2. Khushi Dinesh (Kar) 18:29.37; 3. V. Varsha (TN) 18:34.99.

50m backstroke: 1. Suvana Baskar (Kar) 31.27; 2. Pratyasa Ray (Odi) 32.02; 3. Aaliyah Singh (UP) 32.18.

200m breaststroke: 1. Kareena Shankta (Mah) 2:47.55; 2. Saanvi Rao (Kar) 2:51.03; 3. Rachana Rao (Kar) 22:54.48.

100m butterfly: 1. Asha Choudhury (Del) 1:06.84; 2. Uttara Gogoi (Del) 1:07.52; 3. Kanya Nayyar (MP) 1:07.61.