National C'ship: Madhu, Maana break records on final day

Madhu P.S. and Maana Patel were adjudged the best male and female swimmers respectively at the national aquatics championship after an overall impressive performance which included breaking records on the final day of the competition.

Madhu P.S. broke the men's 50m backstroke national record, previously also held by him, by clocking 26.73 seconds.   -  Manob Chowdhury

Madhu P.S. and Maana Patel smashed national records in style to emerge as the best male and female swimmers respectively on the concluding day of the 70th Glenmark National aquatic championship at the V.B.B. Stadium here on Wednesday.

In the 50m backstroke heats in the morning session, Maana produced a fine performance to go below half-a-minute and registered 29.89 to improve upon her old record of 30.25 set last year in Rajkot. This was also the best Indian timing as Maana bettered her own time of 30.03 recorded in the national junior championship in Pune in 2015.

The 17-year-old Gujarat swimmer did a 30.03 in the final in the evening session to take the 50m backstroke crown comfortably. Maana's showing on the final day helped her retain her 'best swimmer' title for the fourth consecutive year.

Maana said her recent four-and-a-half months training in the USA made her a better swimmer. “I got to train with a lot of accomplished swimmers. My kicking has improved following the exposure,” said Maana, who went on to help Gujarat fetch a mixed 4x50m freestyle bronze medal.

'One of my best seasons'

Services swimmer Madhu, who had broken the 100m backstroke record on the opening day of the meet, created another new record in 50m backstroke. He clocked 26.73 to surpass his own record and best Indian timing of 27.02 made in 2014.

The 25-year-old gave a spirited effort to maintain a slight edge over his rivals before touching the wall in the most keenly fought race of the championship in which the top six swimmers registered sub-28 times. Arvind Mani bagged the silver with 27.30, while Vedant Seth and Rohit Imoliya clocked an identical 27.33 to claim bronze medals.

“I am really happy to have made the record. I was aiming at doing a 26 and achieve my personal best. This is one of my best seasons so far,” said Madhu.

Aditi Dhumatkar upset Olympian Shiwani Kataria to snatch the women's 100m freestyle title.

Karnataka retained its overall team championship title with 246 points. Railways topped the overall medals. It secured 23 medals, including 16 gold, followed by Maharashtra, which also picked an identical number of medals including eight gold.

The results:

Freestyle:

Swimming:

Men's 100m: 1. Aaron D'Souza (RSPB) 51.65, 2. Anshul Kothari (Guj) 51.94, 3. Sahil Chopra (Pun) 52.56; Women's 100m: 1. Aditi Dhumatkar (Mah) 59.14, 2. Shiwani Kataria (Har) 59.50, 3. Rayna Seldanha (Mah) 59.91; Women's 800m: 1. Shruthi Mahalingam (TN) 9:40.63, 2. Preksha H.M. 9:42.12, 3. Monique Gandhi (Mah) 9:44.14.

Backstroke:

Men's 50m: 1. Madhu P.S. (SSCB) 26.73 (NR, previous 27.02, Madhu P.S., SSCB, 2014), 2. Arvind Mani (Kar) 27.30, 3. Vedant Seth (Har) and Rohit Imoliya (SSCB) 27.33; Women's 50m: 1. Maana Patel (Guj) 30.03 (29.89 NR in heats, previous 30.25, Maana Patel, Gujarat, 2015) 2. Jyotsna Pansare (Mah) 30.91, 3. Avantika Chavan (Mah) 31.63.

Breaststroke:

Men's 100m: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (RSPB) 1:02.12, 2. Likith S.P. (Kar) 1:04.15, 3. Jashandeep Singh (Pun) 1:04.64; Women's 100m: 1. Chahat Arora (Chd) 1:16.39, 2. Saloni Dalal (Kar) 1:16.54, 3. Harshitha Jayaram (Kar) 1:17.61.

Mixed 4x50m freestyle: 1. Maharashtra 1:42.91, 2. Karnataka 1:44.20, 3. Gujarat 1:44.33.

Best Swimmer:

Men: Madhu P.S. (SSCB) 19 points (Two gold, one silver, two records);

Women: Maana Patel (Gujarat) 25 points (Three gold, one bronze, one record).

Team championship:

Swimming: Men: RSPB 175 points; Women: Maharashtra 148 points; Overall: Karnataka 246 points.

Diving: Men: SSCB 33 points; Women: RSPB 27 points.

Waterpolo: Men: 1. RSPB, 2. SSCB, 3. All India Police; Women: 1. Kerala, 2. Maharashtra, 3. Bengal.