Maana and Sajan corner glory on final day

Srihari comes from behind to clinch 100m backstroke with new mark in the Glenmark 72nd National swimming championship.

Maana Patel at the BR Ambedkar Aquatic complex in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.   -  S. Mahinsha

Maana Patel capped a fine comeback from injury by setting a new meet record in the 100m backstroke event on the concluding day of the Glenmark 72nd National swimming championship at here on Sunday.

Maana, who missed 18 months of action due to injury, was unstoppable. She led from start to finish and swam to a new record. Maana clocked 1:04.33s to improve her own old record of 1:04.40 which was set in 2015.

Sajan Prakash blazed his way to a fifth gold by winning the 200m butterfly easily. The Kerala lad, in the process, came up with the best Indian performance and also broke the existing National record (1:59.12) which was set last year.

Destroying the field

Sajan destroyed the field with his blistering pace. He hit the front from the start and raced against the clock to finish in 1:57.73s which was two hundredths of a second faster than his previous best Indian performance time of 1:57.75 which he clocked in the Jakarta Asian Games.

Sajan’s dominance could be gauged by the fact that second-placed Supriya Mondal finished a good 20 metres behind him.

Srihari Nataraj came from behind to win 100m backstroke with a new national record. Veteran P.S. Madhu, who just managed to qualify for the finals, led after the first lap. However, Srihari came up with a fine kick in the last 25 metres to finish in 56.53 which was better than his own old record (57.20) set last year in Bhopal.

Advait Page set the first record of the day in men’s 800m freestyle. Advait, who finished seventh in the same event in the Asian Games, was matched stroke for stroke by Kushagra Rawat till the final 100 metres.

But the 18-year-old from Madhya Pradesh increased the tempo and finished at least a body length ahead of Rawat. Advait clocked 8:12.51 to marginally improve on Saurabh Sangvekar’s old mark (8:12.57) which was set in 2011.

Stiff challenge

Richa Mishra warded off a stiff challenge from the fast-finishing Trisha Karkhanis to win the 200m butterfly and her fifth gold medal of the meet.

Railways crushed Services 13-6 to win the men’s water polo title while Kerala pipped Bengal 6-4 to take the women’s crown.

Karnataka won the overall title with 227 points. Sajan Prakash (Kerala) and Saloni Dalal were chosen as the ‘best swimmers’ in men’s and women’s sections respectively.

The results

Men: 800m freestyle: 1. Advait Page (MP) 8:12.51; NR; OR - 8:12.57, Saurabh Sangvekar, Kar, 2011), 2. Kushagra Rawat (Del) 8:16.59, 3. Aryan Makhija (SFI).

200m butterfly: 1. Sajan Prakash (Ker) 1:57.73; NR; OR - 1:59.12, Sajan Prakash, Ker, 2017), 2. Supriya Mondal (Rly) 2:03.36, 3. Sanu Debnath (Rly) 2:04.13.

100m backstroke: 1. Srihari Nataraj (Kar) 56.53; NR; OR - 57.20, Srihari Nataraj, Kar, 2017), 2. P.S. Madhu (Ser) 58.29, 3. T. Sethu Manickavel (TN) (58.60).

Women: 400m freestyle: 1. Shivani Kataria (Har) 4:30.78, 2. Khushi Dinesh (Kar) 4:34.10, 3. Bhavika Dugar (TN) 4:37.68.

200m butterfly: 1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:21.92, 2. Trisha Karkhanis (SFI) 2:22.48, 3. Srishti Nag (Cht) 2:24.85.

100m backstroke: 1. Maana Patel (Guj) 1;04.33; NR; OR - 1:04.40, Maana Patel, Guj, 2015), 2. Suvana C. Baskar (Kar) 1:06.63, 3. Nina Venkatesh (1:07.05).

4x50m mixed relay: 1. Karnataka (1:51.74), 2. SFI (1:52.04), 3. Railways (1:52.40).

Team championship: Overall: Karnataka, 227 pts. Men: Karnataka, 88. Women: Karnataka, 119.