National swimming c'ship: Shivani improves meet record

Shivani Kataria dominated the 200m freestyle field in 2:06.63 minutes to better her previous record of 2:06.97, set in Ranchi last September.

Shivani Kataria bettered her record by 0.34 second.   -  SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

Shivani Kataria bettered her own meet record and 34-year-old Richa Mishra made a golden return to brighten an
otherwise dull evening at the National swimming championship here.

Notwithstanding a one-hour delay to the proceedings owing to a protracted inaugural function, favourite Sajan Prakash (200m freestyle), Asian Games bronze-medallist Sandeep Sejwal and Chahat Arora (both in 50m breaststroke) won as anticipated.

Shivani dominated the 200m freestyle field in 2:06.63 minutes to better her previous record of 2:06.97, set in Ranchi last September.

In 200m medley, Richa comfortably led for close to 175 metres before being tested by Bengal’s Sayani Ghosh. But the latter's experience proved decisive.

Richa was looking to set a National record despite returning to the championship after two years. Though she did not improve her long-standing record, she was happy to start with a gold.

“This gold matters,” said Richa holding the medal, “I am aiming to win four gold medals (in the two medleys and two shorter races in butterfly). This week, I am also taking part in the 100m freestyle. I have trained in the right earnest but this is my first competitive race in more than two years. The result makes me happy.”

Before the freestyle relay golds went to Services men and Karnataka women, Aravind Mani brought Services its first gold ahead of Karnataka’s Srihari Nataraj and Maharashtra’s Neel Roy in the 200m medley. In fact, Roy topped the 200m freestyle heats but skipped the final held earlier in the evening to give his best in the shorter medley.
 

Results

Women

200m freestyle: 1. Shivani Kataria (Har, 2:06.63), 2. V. Malavika (Kar, 2:09.69), 3. Damini Gowda (Kar, 2:11.10).
50m breast stroke: 1. Chahat Arora (Pun, 34.39), 2. A. V. Jayaveena (TN, 34.77), 3. Annie Jain (MP, 35.01).
200m individual medley: 1. Richa Mishra (Pol, 2:28.47); 2. Sayani Ghosh (Ben, 2:28.69); 3. V. K. R. Meenakshi (TN, 2:30.32).
4x100 freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka (4:10.03), 2. Maharashtra (4:12.06), 3. Tamil Nadu (4:12.39).

Men

200m freestyle: 1. Sajan Prakash (Ker, 1:53.06), 2. Avinash Mani (Kar, 1:54.85), 3. A. S. Anand (Ser, 1:55.12).
50m breast stroke: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (Rlys, 28.44), 2. Punit Rana (Pol, 29.09), 3. Vaishnav Hegde (Kar, 29.72).
200m individual medley: 1. Aravind Mani (Ser, 2:09.09), 2. Srihari Nataraj (Kar, 2:10.15); 3. Neel Roy (Mah, 2:10.80).
4x100 freestyle relay: 1. Services (3:30.30), 2. Railways (3:30.33), 3. Punjab (3:34.79).