Rio Olympian Sajan Prakash continued with his fine run to set a new national record in men's 200m butterfly event on the second day of the national aquatics championship at the V.B.B. Stadium here on Sunday.
Aiming to perform consistently, Sajan swam confidently to clock 1:59.35 and break Aaron D'Souza's three-year-old National record of 2:00.90 while claiming the top honour. However, Sajan's time was a notch below his best effort of 1:59.27 (the best Indian timing) in the Hong Kong Olympic qualifying meet in June last.
Sajan's Railways teammate Supriyo Mondal gave him a good chase before giving it up in the final 50m to settle for the silver medal with 2:03.42.
Since Sajan had gone under the two-minute mark twice this season, in Hong Kong and in the Rio Olympics, he was expected to give another good performance.
Sajan never eyed any national record though. “I had not trained well for this meet and thought of clocking 2 minutes. The water colour is an issue even though as a butterfly swimmer I can see the wall. It is difficult for freestyle swimmers as I had trouble in yesterday's relay. All these swimmers train throughout the year to give their best here but it is disappointing to face such a problem,” said Sajan.
Eighteen-year-old Monique Gandhi, who recovered from a bout of dengue recently to bag a women's 400m freestyle silver on day one, swam brilliantly to get the women's 1500m freestyle gold with 18:21.13. Later, she helped Maharashtra clinch the women's 4x100m medley title.
“Since I am going to Australia for studies, this was my last chance of participating in the national championship. After recovering from dengue, only last week I decided to participate here. My coach Subodh Danke's passing away was another setback and I was hardly ready for this competition. I am happy to have done well,” said Monique.
Saurabh, who won the 400m freestyle gold on Saturday, recorded another convincing victory to claim the 200m freestyle title with a time of 1:52.83.
The Railways team, comprising Sajan Prakash, Supriyo Mondal, Sandeep Sejwal and Aaron D'Souza, broke the national record for men's 4x100m medley.
Freestyle: Men's 200m: 1. Saurabh Sangvekar (RSPB) 1:52.83, 2. Anand S. (SSCB) 1:56.04, 3. Avinash Mani (Kar) 1:56.13; Women's 1500m: 1. Monique Gandhi (Mah) 18:21.13, 2. Shruthi Mahalingam (TN) 18:21.53, 3. P.M. Abhishiktha (TN) 18:43.59.
Breaststroke: Men's 50m: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (RSPB) 28.69, 2. Vaishnav Hegde (Kar) 29.17, 3. Puneet Rana (AIP) 29.17; Women's 50m: 1. Chahat Arora (Chd) 35.11, 2. Annie Jain (MP) 35.39, 3. A.V. Jayaveena (TN) 35.40.
Butterfly: Men's 200m: 1. Sajan Prakash (RSPB) 1:59.35 (NR, previous: 2:00.90, Aaron D'Souza, 2013, Thiruvananthapuram), 2. Supriyo Mondal (RSPB) 2:03.42, 3. K. Mitesh Manoj (SSCB) 2:07.04; Women's 200m: 1. Damini K. Gowda (Kar) 2:21.99, 2. Trisha Karkhanis (Mah) 2:27.94, 3. Srishti Nag (Chg) 2:28.11.
4x100m Medley: Men: 1. RSPB 3:48.95 (NR, previous 3:50.82, RSPB, 2015, Rajkot), 2. Karnataka 3:52.52, 3. Tamil Nadu 3:59.83.
3m spring board: Men: 1. K. Ramananda Sharma (SSCB) 306.35, 2. Siddharth Pardeshi (SSCB) 267.15, 3. Hemam London Singh (Kar) 251.45; Women: 1. Hrutika Shriram (RSPB) 184.6, 2. Deepti Panwar (RSPB) 170.05, 3. Simran Rajani (Mah) 165.35.
Waterpolo: Men: All India Police bt Delhi 13-0, RSPB bt Karnataka 15-1, SSCB bt Punjab 12-0, Kerala bt Bengal 12-9; Women: Kerala bt All India Police 5-2, Maharashtra bt Manipur 12-0.