Seventeen-year-old Surabhi Tipre announced her arrival at the biggest domestic stage by snatching two gold medals from under the nose of the reigning queen Richa Mishra as three meet records stood improved on the third day of the 64th National aquatic championship here on Thursday.
Hot favourites Sandeep Sejwal (50m breast stroke), M. B. Muralikrishnan (50m backstroke) and the Karnataka quartet in the 4x200 freestyle relay improved their own meet records. This was Sejwal’s third successive gold, including one in relay, with fresh records.
But it was Surabhi who stole the show by avenging the loss suffered to Richa in Wednesday’s 800m freestyle. She won the 400m freestyle and returned to add the 200m freestyle gold with her life best time.
Ironically, Richa in spite of leading for the better part of the four-lap race, went medal-less. Surabhi, crowned the best in the Junior National championship in Bangalore in July, was particularly pleased with her time of 2:08.76 in the 200m freestyle.
“I went for Nisha Millet’s meet record (of 2:07.92) and expected to clock sub-2:08. Still I am very happy my effort,” said youngster adding that she was confident of beating Richa on this day.
Richa, on her part, was gracious in defeat. “I swam well but did not have it in me today to finish strongly. But I am not too disappointed. My goal is the Commonwealth Games and these defeats will spur me to give improved performances in October.”
In the men’s 200m freestyle, Aaron D’souza captured the gold for the fourth year on the trot and a medal for the fifth straight year. With National record-holder Virdhawal Khade choosing to give this event a miss, D’souza, who won the 400m freestyle in the morning, Mandar Divase and Rohit Havaldar retained their places on the podium.
While Sejwal and Muralikrishnan managed to improve their meet marks, Khade could not break Rehan Poncha’s record in the 100m butterfly final. With the display clock going blank during the race, Khade was unsure of his time. Moments later when the time was displayed as 0:55.62 (as against the record of 0:55.17), Khade was disappointed. “I am sure I swam faster than 0:55.17. I am happy with my effort but not with the time credited,” he said.
The results: Men: 200m freestyle: 1. Aaron D’souza (Kar) 1:53.84; 2. Mandar Divase (Pol) 1:57.61; 3. Rohit Havaldar (Kar) 1:58.53; 400m freestyle: 1. Aaron D’souza (Kar) 4:07.11; 2. A. P. Gagan (Kar) 4:08.65; 3. Mandar Divase (Pol) 4:09.36; 50m backstroke: 1. M. B. Muralikrishnan (TN) 0:27.46 (NMR, old 0:27.56, M. B. Muralikrishnan, 2009); 2. Arjun Muralidharan (Pol) 0:28.02; 3. Praveen Tokas (Rlys) 0:28.30; 50m breast stroke: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (Rlys) 0:29.11 (NMR, old 0:29.37, Sandeep Sejwal 2009); 2. Puneet Rana (Har) 0:29.93; J. P. Arjun (Rlys) 0:30.14; 100m butterfly: 1. Virdhawal Khade (Mah) 0:55.62; 2. Arjun Muralidharan (Pol) 0:57.74; 3. Tarun Tokas (Rlys) 0:57.83.
4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka 8:02.56 (NMR, old 8:03.25 Karnataka, 2007); 2. Railways 8:23.01; 3. Maharashtra 8:33.78.
Women: 200m freestyle: 1. Surabhi Tipre (Mah) 2:08.76; 2. Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 2:09.69; 3. Arti Ghorpade (Mah) 2:10.11; 400m freestyle: 1. Surabhi Tipre (Mah) 4:30.24; 2. Richa Mishra (Mah) 4:40.15; 3. Pratima Kollali (Kar) 4:47.40; 50m backstroke: 1. Jyotsna Pansare (Mah) 0:31.43; 2. Fariha Zaman (Kar) 0:31.52; 3. Kavya Bhandekar (Mah) 0:32.44; 50m breast stroke: 1. Priyanka Priyadarshini (Del) 0:36.09; 2. Mankiran Kaur (Pun) 0:36.32; 3. Poorva Shetye (Mah) 0:36.39; 100m butterfly: 1. Pooja Alva (Kar) 1:03.88; 2. C. Shubha (Kar) 1:05.51; 3. Rujuta Bhatt (Mah) 1:06.47.
4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Maharashtra 9:11.52; 2. Karnataka 9:40.40; 3. Tamil Nadu 9:44.23.
Water-polo: Men: Railways bt Police 10-4; Kerala bt Karnataka 9-2’ Maharashtra bt Services 13-9; Bengal bt Manipur 7-3.
Women: Maharashtra drew with Karnataka 4-4; Kerala bt Police 9-3; Bengal bt Manipur 3-1.
Keywords: National aquatic championship