India made a big splash on the opening day of the South Asian Games swimming competition at Mirpur bagging four golds and a bronze and setting three records as well. India also had the ignominy of finishing off the podium in one of the five events and failing to set a record in one.
India had another near perfect day at the Gulshan Range on the fourth day of the shooting competition. India won all the four gold and two silver medals to take its overall tally to 15 gold, eight silver and four bronze medals so far. Two more events will be held in the next two days.
Aaron D’Souza won the 100m freestyle for men in 52.48 seconds and in the process erased the record of his compatriot Virdhaval Khade (52.71, Colombo).
Sandeep Sejwal won the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:21.03s which was better than the existing mark of 2:27.12s by Arjun Jayaprakash of India set at Colombo in 2006.
The third record fell to Shubha Chittaranjan of India whose 29.44s in the 50m butterfly for women obliterated the 29.71s record by Lekha Kamath of India in 2006.
The fourth gold medal came through Rehan Poncha in the men’s 200m individual medley. What surprised everyone was Poncha missing out on bettering his own mark in his pet event.
Surprise of the day
The surprise of the day was India’s Poorva Kiran Shetty finishing fifth in the women’s 50m breaststroke. The event was won by Sri Lanka’s Mineka Karunarathne whose compatriot Mayumi Raheem holds all the three records — 50, 100 and 200m, set in Colombo.
Om Prakash became the first athlete to win four gold medals in the SAG.
Prakash, the 29-year-old havaldar from the Indian army won two gold medals on Thursday, added the 10m air pistol team and individual gold to his name on Friday.
He along with Amit Kumar and Sikandar Mann gave India the team gold with a score of 1716. Pakistan and Sri Lanka followed in that order. In the individual final shoot-off, Om Prakash shot 679.2 to win gold. Amit Kumar (673.7) picked up silver.
Shoots down gold
India also made sure of the 50m rifle prone for men when the Indian trio of Surindra Singh Rathod, Hariom Singh and Devesh Panwar, shot 1766 to take the gold medal. Bangladesh was second and Sri Lanka third.
Rathod also won the individual gold by equalling the existing record of 593 standing in the name of Mangalam Samarakoon of Sri Lanka set in 2006 at Colombo. Hariom Singh took the silver with 591 and Ramzan Ali of Bangladesh the bronze.
Shooting: Men: 10m air pistol, team: 1. India (Om Prakash, Amit Kumar and Sikandar Mann) 1716, 2. Pakistan 1184, 3. Sri Lanka 1678. Individual: 1. Om Prakash (Ind) 679.2, 2. Amit Kumar (Ind) 673.7, 3. T.D.S. Fernando (Sri) 662.2. 50m rifle prone, team: 1. India (Surindra Singh Rathod, Hariom Singh and Devesh Panwar) 1766, 2. Bangladesh 1746, 3. Sri Lanka 1745. Individual: 1. Surindra Singh Rathod (Ind) 593, 2. Hariom Singh 591, 3. Ramzan Ali (Ban) 589.
Swimming: Men: 100m freestyle: 1. Aaron D’Souza (Ind) 52.48s (NGR, previous 52.71 by Virdhaval Khade of India, 06), 2. Mahafizur Rahman (Ban) 52.85, 3. Heshan Bandara Unamboowe (Sri) 54.23. 200m breaststroke: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (Ind) 2:21.03s (NGR, previous 2:27.12s by Arjun Jayaprakash of India, 06), 2. M. Kamal Hossain (Ban) 2:27.54, 3. Anoop Augustine (Ind) 2:29.99. 200m individual medley: 1. Rehan Poncha (Ind) 2:12.65s, 2. Heshan Bandara Unamboowe (Sri) 2:13.68, 3. M. Rubel Rana (Ban) 2:19.03.
Women: 50m breaststroke: 1. Mineka Karunarathne (Sri) 35:15s, 2. Mahfuza Khatun (Ban) 35:43, 3. Doli Akhter (Ban) 36.59. 50m butterfly: 1. Shubha Chittaranjan (Ind) 29.44s (NGR, previous 29.71 by Lekha Kamath of India, 06), 2. Miniruwani Shashiprabha Samarakoon (Sri) 32.12, 3. Kiran Khan (Pak) 32.18.