Talasha, Anshul fastest; three meet marks sunk

Talasha Prabhu successfully defended the fastest-woman-of-the-meet title by winning the 50m freestyle on the penultimate day of the 65th National aquatics meet here at the Veer Budhu Bhagat Stadium on Saturday. Anshul Kothari of Gujarat emerged the fastest man.

The day also belonged to Richa Mishra of Police who won the 200m individual medley in 2:25.33s to win her fifth individual gold. She was the first one to achieve this feat in this meet. Three new meet records were set, two in the pool in the morning session and one in the diving well.

Despite twisting her left ankle this morning, Talasha managed to leap into the water and powered to the finish in 27.52s which was better than her last year's gold winning time of 27.50. The champion suffered some self doubt due to the injury before the event but her coach Pradeep Kumar convinced her to give off her best. Talasha did not disappoint herself.

Aditi Dhumatkar of Maharashtra came in second in 27.85 and pushed last year's silver medallist Sneha T. (28.17) to the bronze place in a slow race.

In the absence of National record holder Veerdhawal Khade of Maharashtra, young Kothari hogged the show with a time of 24.08 to take gold in the men's 50m freestyle event. Kothari, who had finished third behind Arjun J.P. of Railways last year, had clocked 24.78s then. Arjun was second in 24.47. Sarma S.P. Nair of Railways was third in 28.17.

Surabhi Tipre, always in the shadow of Richa in all freestyle events, set a new meet record in the gruelling women's 1500m event in the absence of the Police swimmer. Her time 17:46.38s bettered Richa's previous best of 18:00.64s.

The Karnataka 4 x 100m freestyle quartet of Saurabha Sangvekar, Rohit R. Havaldar, Rehan Poncha and Aaron D'Souza, stormed to gold setting a new meet record of 3:34.55s. The old record of 3:37.63s set in 2009 also stood in Karnataka's name.

Diver Hrutika Shriram of Railways came up with a record of 212.15 points in the women's 1m springboard to improve her own mark of 202.95 established in 2008. This was her seventh title in a row.

Rehan Poncha took gold in men's 200m individual medley to win his third individual gold. He also won two relay gold medals and relay silver.

Maharashtra achieved a one-two in the women's 100m backstroke event. Favourite Arti Ghorpade took gold in 1:08.75s and Ananya Panigrahi annexed silver in 1:08.90. Kshipra Mahajan of Karnataka settled for bronze in 1:11.48. Shikha Tandon of Karnataka holds the record at 1:06.95s.

Rohit Havaldar won the men's 100m backstroke comfortably in 1:00.48 as Praveen Tokas of Railways and Madhu P.S. of Services never posed him any challenge.

Karnataka increased its medal tally further ending the day with 18 gold, nine silver and as many bronze medals. Police rode on Richa's five-gold haul to be in the second position with 5-4-2 while Railways stood third with 4-7-4. Maharashtra was fourth with 2-10-7 and Tamil Nadu continued to be fifth with 2-2-4.

The results: Men: 50m freestyle:1. Anshul Kothari (Guj) 24.08s, 2. J.P. Arjun (Rly) 24.47, 3. Sarma S.P. Nair (Rly) 24.72.100m backstroke:1. Rohit R. Havaldar (Kar) 1:00.48s, 2. Praveen Tokas (Rly) 1:00.98, 3. P.S. Madhu (Ser) 1:01.09.

200m individual medley:1. Rehan Poncha (Kar) 2:07.95s, 2. Sandeep Sejwal (Rly) 2:11.02, 3. Pulkit Kumar (Har) 2:15.66;4 x 100m freestyle relay:1. Karnataka 3:34.55s (NMR, old 3:37.63s by Karnataka, 2009), 2. Railways 3:38.67, 3. Maharashtra 3:47.88.

Diving: 1m springboard:1. T. Hariprasad (Rly) 286.95 points, K. Ramanand Sharma (Mah) 263.40, 3. S. Rabi Kumar Singh (Rly) 259.20.

Waterpolo: semifinals:Railways 13 bt Maharashtra 2; Services 13 bt Police 6.

Women: 50m freestyle:1. Talasha Prabhu (Goa) 27.52s, 2. Aditi Dhumatkar (Mah) 27.85, 3. T. Sneha (Kar) 28.17.

1500m freestyle:1. Surabhi Tipre (Kar) 17:46.38s (NMR, old 18:00.64s by Richa Mishra (Pol), 2007), 2. Aakansha Vora (Mah) 18:34.20, 3. Sushaka Pratap (Kar) 18:38.79.

100m backstroke:1. Arti Ghorpade (Mah) 1:08.75s, 2. Ananya Panigrahi (Mah) 1:08.90, 3. Kshipra Mahajan (Kar) 1:11.48;200m individual medley:1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:25.33s, 2. Pooja R. Alva (Kar) 2:29.46, 3. Bhoomi R. Motwani (Kar) 2:31.52.

4 x 100m freestyle relay:1. Karnataka 4:08.96s, 2. Maharashtra 4:14.15, 3. Tamil Nadu 4:27.98;Diving, 1m springboard:1. Hrutika Shriram (Rly) 212.15 points, (NMR, old 202.95 by Hrutika, 2008), 2. Swati Vidap (Mah) 176.55, 3. Tanuka Dhara (Ben) 150.45.

Waterpolo: semifinals:Police 7 bt Bengal 3; Kerala 7 bt Maharashtra 3.

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