Richa Mishra hogged the limelight on the second day of the 65th National aquatic championships at the Veer Budhu Bhagat Stadium here on Thursday.
She not only became the first woman to clock the best Indian time in 800m freestyle but also emerged the first to win three gold medals of the meet and set two senior championship marks (the other in 200m freestyle).
Also setting record times were Aaron D'Souza of Karnataka (men's 200m freestyle), Railways' Sandeep Sejwal (50m breaststroke) and Tamil Nadu's A.V. Jayaveena (women's 50m breaststroke). Diver Hrutika Shriram of Railways won her seventh straight title in the highboard event.
An inspector with CRPF, Richa has been the queen of Indian aquatics. She stamped her class in the women's 800m freestyle event by clocking 9:06.31s to better the Indian best time of 9:10.96s achieved by her at the CWG Test Games at Delhi last year. Her effort also erased her own meet mark of 9:25.57s established at 2007 National.
Richa also stood out in the afternoon session by winning the 200m freestyle in 2:07.29 that obliterated Nisha Millet's previous best of 2:07.92s. She also ruled supreme in the 400m individual medley taking the gold in 5:05.17s.
Sejwal broke his own mark of 29.11s in the 50m breaststroke heats by clocking 28.93s. He improved it further in the final with a time of 28.35s in a field that only chased him.
D'Souza was like a man possessed as he plunged into the pool in the men's 200m freestyle. He was quickly into the lead and never looked back as the rest of the competitors ebbed away. He stopped the clock at 1:51.38s to improve his own mark of 1:53.36 achieved at 2009 National.
Jayaveena, 13, was not among the top two nearing 40m mark in the women's 50m breaststroke but came up with a terrific burst in the final 10m to overhaul her teammate M. Raghavi and Poorva Shetye of Maharashtra to clock 35.48s that bettered TN swimmer Saba Sait's record of 35.63.
“I clocked 34 plus in the state meet. I could not achieve that time because of the cold weather,” the petite girl said.
Rehan Poncha of Karnataka took his second gold medal of the meet when he won the 400m individual medley in 4:35.59s. Karnataka continues to lead the medal table with a haul of six gold, as many silver and four bronze medals. Railways was second with 4-2-3 and Police was third with 3-3-1. TN was fourth with 2-1-2.
Men: 200m freestyle:1. Aaron D'Souza (Kar) 1:51.38s (NMR, old 1:53.36, self, 2009), 2. Saurabh Sangvekar (Kar) 1:55.06, 3. Mandar Divase (Pol) 1:57.40.
50m breaststroke:Sandeep Sejwal (Rly) 28.35s (NMR, old 28.93, self in heats, 2011), 2. Puneet Rana (Pol) 30.22, 3. Yashodhan Lonkar (Rly) 30.89.
400m individual medley:1. Rehan Poncha (Kar) 4:35.59s, 2. Merwyn Chen (Rly) 4:44.56, 3. M. Arvind (Kar) 4:46.33.
Diving: Highboard:1. Tushar Gitaye (Rly) 325.85 points, 2. Ch. Pushkar Meetei (Jhr) 319.45, 3. Hinanshu Tiwari (Rly) 286.65.
Women: 200m freestyle:1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:07.29s, NMR, old 2:07.92, Nisha Millet, 2003), 2. Surabhi Tipre (Kar) 2:09.43, 3. Aditi Dhumatkar (Mah) 2:11.36.
800m freestyle:1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 9:06.31s, (NMR, old 9:25.57s, self, 2007), 2. Surabhi Tipre (Kar) 9:21.87, 3. Aakanksha Vora (Mah) 9:33.10.
50m breaststroke:1. A.V. Jayaveena (TN) 35.48s (NMR, old 35.63, Saba Sait, 2004), 2. M. Raghavi (TN) 35.79, 3. Poorva Shetye (Mah) 35.95.
400m individual medley:1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 5:05.17s, 2. Pooja R. Alva (Kar) 5:18.09, 3. Aakanksha Vora (Mah) 5:24.85.Diving: Highboard:1. Hrutika Shriram (Rly) 233.55 points, 2. Deepti Panwar (Rly) 207.10, 3. Tanuka Dhara (Ben) 183.75.