It was accession of Manna Patel as the future of Indian swimming at the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Aquatic complex here on Saturday.
The 13-year-old prodigy from Gujarat set her third meet record in the 67th National aquatics championship by easily winning the 50m backstroke event in 0:31.15 seconds which bettered Fariha Zaman’s four-year-old mark of 0:31.22s.
Apart from Maana, Aaron Agnel D’Souza and the Maharashtra 4x100m freestyle relay squad set meet records on the penultimate day.
In a race in which she was hardly pushed, Maana underlined her supremacy in back stroke events by winning her third gold medal. Maana had won the 100m and 200m backstrokes events earlier with meet records. However, Maana finished just outside her personal best which incidentally is also the best Indian performance (0:30.74) which was set by her during the junior Nationals in Hyderabad early this year.
Aaron D’Souza’s golden streak on his comeback continued as the 21-year-old swimmer picked up his sixth gold of the meet. Aaron set his second record of the meet in 200m butterfly stroke by clocking 2:00.90. The Railway swimmer, who was trailing at the end of the first lap, turned it around at the end of the third lap. Sajan Prakash set the initial pace but faded out as Aaron pulled ahead with powerful strokes and finished in record time of 2:00.90s which is also his personal best. The old mark (2:01.28) stood in the name of Rehan Poncha set in 2009.
“The 200m butterfly race made my day. It is my personal best and I think again I have done enough to qualify for the commonwealth and Asian Games,’’ Aaron said.
The Railway swimmer also won the 50m backstroke event but missed the record by a whisker. “I didn’t get enough time to recover. But I am still happy with the performance,’’ he said.
Sandeep Sejwal also picked up his third individual gold medal and sixth overall by winning the 100m breaststoke in 1:02.67 seconds which was outside his own record (1:01.97) set in 2011.
At the end of competition on the fourth day, Maharashtra was leading the table with 186 points followed by Karnataka with 176 and RSPB with 161.
Men: 50m freestyle: 1. J.P. Arjun (RSPB) (0:23.71), 2. Anshul Kothari (Guj) (0:24.10), 3. Neil Contractor (Guj) (0:24.61); 100m breaststroke: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (RSPB) (1:02:67), 2. Anoop Augustine (RSPB) (1:04.61), 3. Puneet Rana (Police) (1:04.82); 50m backstroke: 1. Aaron Agnel D’Souza (RSPB) (0:27.18), 2. P.S. Madhu (SSCB) (0:27.40), 3. Sunil Dhull (SSCB) (0:28.91); 200m butterfly: 1. Aaron Agnel D’Souza (RSPB) (NMR: 2:00.90; OR: 2:01.28, Rehan Poncha, Karnataka, 2009), 2. Supriya Mondal (Ben) (2:03.93), 3. Sajan Prakash (RSPB) (2:04.42); 4x100m freestyle: 1. RSPB (3:32.78), 2. Karnataka (3:36.76), 3. SSCB (3:40.21).
Women: 1500m freestyle: 1. Monique Gandhi (Mah), (18:20.85), 2. P.M. Abhishiktha (TN) (18:21.17), 3. Shruthi Mahalingam (TN) (18:35.36); 50m backstroke: 1. Maana Patel (Guj) (NMR: 0:31.15; OR: 0:31.22, Fariha Zaman, Assam, 2008), 2.Avantika Chavan (Mah) (0:31.43); 3. Nivya Raja (TN) (0:32.19); 100m breaststroke: 1. Poorva Shetye (Mah) (1:17.31), 2. A.V. Jayaveena (TN) (1:18.21), 3. Monique Gandhi (Mah) (1:18.22); 4x100m freestyle relay: 1. Maharasthra (NMR: 4:06.18; OR: 4:07.09, Maharashtra, 2012), 2. Karnataka (4:09.29), 3. Tamil Nadu (4:14.42).
Diving; Men: 3m spring board: K. Ramanand Sharma (SSCB) (353.95 pts), 2. Mahesh Kumar (SSCB) (297.95), 3. Siddharth Pardeshi (Ker) (291.70).
Water polo (league): Men: SSCB 5 bt Maharashtra 4 (Ashwin Kumar Kunde 3); RSPB 9 (S.L. Gopakumar 3) bt RSPB 5 (Supratik Mondal 3). Women: Kerala 9 (M.R. Nithya 3) bt Karnataka 2; Maharashtra 5 (Savali Gudheker 3) bt Police 4 (Priti Gupta 3).