Maana, Virdhawal win best swimmer awards

Maana Patel of Gujarat and Maharashtra’s Virdhawal Khade emerged as the best swimmers of the 69th senior National Aquatic Championship.

Virdhawal Khade is the youngest Indian swimmer to qualify for the Olympics.   -  SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

Maana Patel of Gujarat and Maharashtra’s Virdhawal Khade emerged as the best swimmers of the 69th senior National Aquatic Championship.

Maana, who broke her national record by 13 micro seconds in the women’s 50m backstroke race, was adjudged the best swimmer in the women’s category of the competition that concluded last night.

Maana, on the concluding day, won the gold medal by setting a new national record by finishing the 50m backstroke event taking 30:25 second. Earlier in 2014, she had set a record in the 50m backstroke event taking time of 30:38 seconds.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Virdhawal Khade was declared best swimmer of the event in the men’s category.

The Karnataka aquatic team was adjudged the best team for its overall performance in the competition. Karnataka won 28 medals, (9 gold, 8 silver and 11 bronze) and stood second.

The Railways were at the top in the points table winning 27 medals (14 golds, 9 silver and 4 Bronze), while Maharashtra (29 medals) and Gujarat (14 medals) stood at third and fourth positions, respectively.

Table-toppers’ Railways won the award in men’s swimming team performance while in women’s category the trophy went to Karnataka.

In the Waterpolo event, Railways won in the men’s category, while Kerala won in the women’s category.

Over 700 swimmers from across the country had taken part in the five day long event organised jointly by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and Gujarat State Aquatic Association (GSAA) and hosted jointly by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Rajkot District Swimming Association (RDSA).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a message to the organisers and praised their efforts for hosting the event successfully.

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