Karnataka and Maharashtra engaged in a top of the table battle

A brief spell of heavy rain put a temporary stop to the proceedings at the Glenmark 36th Sub Junior and 46th Junior National Aquatic Championships in Rajkot. The rain brought the temperatures down but swimmers and the officials showed extreme grid and determination to complete the day’s proceedings in not the best conditions.

The stage is set for a fascinating last day as Karnataka and Maharashtra vie for top honours on the leader board. Currently Karnataka leads the tally with 80 medals comprising of 25 Gold, 35 Silver and 20 bronze medals while Maharashtra has 23 gold, 14 silver and 19 bronze medals. Assam is placed third with a total of 17 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze medals.

Vedaant Madhavan of Maharashtra who trains at the GAF centre in Mumbai won the gruelling 1500 m in the Boys Group II category with a time of 17:25.41. Son of popular actor R Madhavan, Vedaant led from start to finish as he won his first national gold medal. Sarvepalli Krishna Pranav from Tamil Nadu kept his pace to win silver with a time of 17:40.56 while Vedaant's clubmate Ansu Kar from SAI GAF centre at Delhi who represents Bengal had a very strong finish to claim bronze with a time of 17:56.24.

Khushi Dinesh of Karnataka showed us once again why she is considered the queen of distance events as she won the 800 m Freestyle claiming her fourth indidual gold of the meet. She clocked a time of 09:30.27. Her strongest competitor this season Sivangi Sarma from Assam claimed silver with a time of 09:41.07 while her teammate and clubmate from SAI Glenmark Centre at Delhi Astha Choudhury claimed bronze with a time of 09:44.54.

M Theerdhu Samadev of Andhra Pradesh did not give anyone a chance as he led from start to finish to win gold in the 100 m backstroke for Boys Group III with a time of 01:14.13. Top seed Tanay Suresh of Karnataka setteled for Silver with a time of 01:15.48 and Krish Jain secured a medal for Haryana winning bronze with a time of 01:16.98

The 100m backstroke for Girls Group III saw Kopal Rai of Madhya Pradesh win a comfortable race with a time of 01:17.59.Taesha Fernandes of Maharashtra won silver with a time of 01:18.94 while Rijul B Patil representing Karnataka won bronze with a time of 01:20.11.

The proverbial battle of the giants happened in 400 m Individual medley in the Boys Group I category. Aryan Nehra of Gujarat and Swadesh Mondal of Bengal who both won 3 gold medals each at this meet were meeting head to head. Aryan Nehra created an upset as he upstaged the 400 m IM specialist Swadesh Mondal to win gold with a time of 04.38.85. Aryan took an early lead and was chased by Sanskar Tokas, Swadesh was placed third as he entered his favouite breast stroke leg and swam a fantastic leg pipping his clubmate from SAI Glenmark Centre in Delhi but could not overtake Aryan Nehra. Aryan continued to increase his lead to ensure Swadesh finished with a silver clocking 04:47.57 while a late flourish from Sanskar tokas ensured he reduced Swadesh’s lead to win bronze with a time of 04:49.05

The Girls group II 400 m Individual medley was a time trial. Apeksha Fernandes of Maharashtra once again displayed her tremendous all round ability to obliterate the existing 9 year old record and win gold with a time of 05:13.80. Her competitor for the best overall swimmer in Girls Group II Aanya Waala from Maharashtra also bettered the meet record with a time of 05:17.03 while B Shakthi from Tamil Nadu claimed bronze with a time of 05:21.85.

The search for the fastest swimmers in Group I ended with the 50 m freestyle events.  Hitten Mittal proved his gold medal winning performance at the Karnataka State Meet was not a flash in the pan as he emerged the fastest swimmer in India. The swimmer who trains at the GAFRAY centre at Bengaluru clocked 00:24.62 courtesy an excellent last surge. P Vikkas of Tamil Nadu just missed the top honour by a hair’s breadth as he claimed silver with a time of 00:24.63 while Tanish George Mathew of KArnataka won bronze with a time of 00:24.65. The top 3 finished within 0.02 seconds clearly showed the class and competition of this race.

Kenisha Gupta lived up to her reputation and top billing to emerge as the fastest female swimmer of the meet. Kenisha clocked 00:27.27 to win gold and was challenged by Mahi Swet Raj of Bihar who claimed silver with a time of 00:28.06 while Shivangi Sarma who returned to the pool after a gruelling 800 m won bronze with a time of 00:28.06

Lucky Ali Khan of Rajasthan emerged as the fastest swimmer in the Boys Group II category. A slow start did not stop Lucky from winning the gold clocking a time of 00:26.25. Jashua Thomas of Tamil Nadu kept Anubhab Parashar of Assam at bay to win silver with a time of 00:26.70. Anubhab won bronze with a time of 00:26.79.

Mallika Dasgupta of Maharashtra swimming in lane 2 threw the seedings for a toss as she emerged the fastest swimmer in the Girls Group II category. Mallika stopped the clock at 00:29.09 while favourites Riddhima Veerendra Kumar of Karnataka and Jahnabi Kashyap of Assam tied for Silver with a time of 00:29.15.

The 50 m Backstroke for Girls Group IV saw Priyansi Mishra from Karnataka comfortably win gold with a time of 00:37.39. Her clubmate from GAF Mumbai Mishti Vora representing Maharashtra won silver with a time of 00:38.09 while Pankti Gudhka of Gujarat won bronze with a time of 00:38.25

Ishaan Mehra of Karnataka swam to victory in the 50 m backstroke in the Boys Group IV category with a time of 00:35.87. Idhant Chaturvedi of Maharashtra claimed the silver narrowly beating S Gokulan of Tamil Nadu who claimed bronze. Idhant stopped the clock at 00:36.34 and Gokulan finished with a time of 00:36.41

Suvana C Baskar of Karnataka reaffirmed her status as one of the best exponents of backstroke, She showcased his prowess and great skill to easily win the 100 m backstroke in the Girls Group I category clocking a time of 01:07.71. Rapidly improving Shrungi Bandekar added another medal to her and Goa’s kitty by claiming silver with a time of 01:08.88 while Pratyasa Ray of Orissa won the bronze medal with a time of 01:09.78

Partha Dutta of Assam won his third gold of the meet with a time of 00:31.12 in the 50 m Butterfly for Boys Group III. M Theeredu Samadev returned to the pool after his gold winning effort winning silver with a time of 00:31.99 while Renukacharya Hodmani of Karnataka won bronze with a time of 00:32.00

Subranshini Priyadarshini of Assam won the 50 m butterfly with a time of 00:32.53. Manavi Varma of Karnataka of Karnataka won yet another medal to her kitty winning silver clocking 00:33.12 while Vedika Sriram representing Tamil Nadu won bronze with a time of 00.33.27

The Boys 100 m Backstroke was a battle between two champion swimmers who are also clubmates. The 200 m backstroke champion Vedant Bapna from Maharashtra locked horns with 50 m backstroke winner Tanmay Das of Delhi who trains at the SAI GAF Centre. Tanmay who in this meet has done some great starts got off to another wonderful start giving him the lead. Vedant who is known for his strong finishes made a push in the last quarter of the race to pip Tanmay to win gold with a time of 00:59.60. Tanmay stopped the clock at 00:59.86 while Madhur Agarwal of Delhi claimed bronze with a time of 01:01.56

Shaon Ganguly of Goa nearly ensured the title of the best swimmer in the Boys Group II category as he remained unvanquished at this meet and claimed his fifth gold by winning the 100 m butterfly with a time of 00:58.69. His challenger Sahil Laskar of Bengal added a silver to his impressive showing in this meet with a time of 00:59.68 while Anshav Jindal representing Punjab claimed bronze with a time of 01:01.28

Nilabjaa Ghosh of Bengal swam a stunning race to create a major upset by winning the 100 m butterfly with a time of 01:06.73. Latiesha Mandanna of Karnataka won her second medal of the meet winning silver with a time of 01:07.20 while Sanjiti Saha of Maharashtra claimed bronze with a time of 01:07.72

Swadesh Mondal of Bengal returned to the pool after the gruelling 400 m Individual Medley to exhibit his prowess in the 200 m Breaststroke as he led from start to finish to win gold with a time of 02:26.53. Swadesh who trains at the SAI Glenmark Centre at Delhi won 5 individual medals in this meet comprising of 4 gold and 1 silver medal. Swadesh teammate Sreedip Mondal won another silver medal for Bengal clocking 02:28.43 while B Akash Navin of Tamil Nadu took the bronze medal with a time of 02:30.87

The 200m Breaststroke featured a tight contest between the 50 m breaststroke winner Madhya Pradesh’s Annie Jain and current National record holder Saloni Dalal from Karnataka. Annie won the race clocking 02:44.83 while Saloni claimed Silver with a time of 02:45.44. Arushi Manjunath of Karnataka completed the podium with a time of 02:48.12

Assam, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka claimed the top 3 medals in the 4 X50 m medley relay for Boys Group IV. Assam clocked 02:24.02 while Tamil Nadu and Karnataka won silver and bronze with times of 02:24.86 and 02:24.84 respectively.

The Girls Group IV 4 X 50 m Medley saw Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam claim Gold, Silver and Bronze medals with times of 02:29.87,02:30.40 and 02:30.54 respectively.

Assam, Karnataka and Maharashtra claimed honours in the 4X50 m Medley relay for Boys Group III. Assam claimed gold with a time of 02:16.26 while Karnataka and Maharashtra won Silver and Bronze with a time of 02:18.43 and 02:25.31 respectively. The Girls 4X50 m medley relay in the Girls Group III saw the same result at the boys with Assam claiming gold with a time of 02:21.81 while Karnataka and Maharashtra won silver and bronze clocing 02:22.87 and 02:26.05 respectively.

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