Rehan sinks another National mark

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MAKING WAVES: Richa Mishra won the 400m individual medley with a new meet record.
MAKING WAVES: Richa Mishra won the 400m individual medley with a new meet record.

Kalyan Ashok

Double delight for Shikha; Richa wins 400m IM

Panaji: Rehan Poncha blazed away to his second National record in the 61st LIC senior National aquatics championship at the Campal pool here on Thursday. Rehan’s second National mark after his 200m backstroke win on the first day came in his pet event — the 400m individual medley — where he smashed his own National mark of 4:34.64s, set in the Asian age group open section at Jakarta in August, clocking 4:33.59.

He swam with supreme confidence and sustained the momentum right through the race, pulling ahead of the field with every lap.

His first 100 in the fly segment came in 1:01 and the second 100 (backstroke) was 2:11 and by the time he did the third lap (breaststroke) in 3:32, Rehan had left the field far behind.

“Two down, three to go,” exulted Rehan after his performance. “I am pleased with today’s show and I am on course for the Olympic qualifying mark. I am confident of doing it in the next few months,” said the Mass Communications student from Bangalore.

Another Karnataka swimmer who made waves on the second day was Shikha Tandon who won the 50 metre butterfly with a new National mark of 29.41 seconds, obliterating Shubha Chittaranjan’s record of 29.44s set in 2005.

Stiff fight

Shikha also picked up a gold in the 200m freestyle in 2:11.90. She faced a stiff fight at the end when her Statemate Kshipra Mahajan almost caught up with her a few metres away from the finish but Shikha kept her cool and hit the board ahead of her rival.

“The 200m freestyle was a bonus and it was a fill-in event for me. I am happy with my butterfly sprint win which shows I can really go for it,” said Shikha.

Arjun Muralidharan called the shots in the men’s 50m fly sprint, cracking Virdhawal Khade’s meet record of 26:10 in the heats itself with an effort of 26.09.

Arjun improved upon his own mark with a 25.76.

Richa Mishra claimed her second gold of the meet, with another meet mark, winning the 400m individual medley in 5:04.84. Richa bettered her own meet record of 5:07.13, but fell short of her National record of 5:01.08 set at the Asian age group open section at Jakarta last month.

Karnataka quartet wins

Karnataka’s relay quartet of Rohit, Ashwin Menon, Rehan Poncha and Aaron D’Souza rewrote its own meet mark of 8:08.33, clocking 8:03.25 in the 4x200m freestyle event.

Aaron also bagged his maiden gold in the 200m freestyle, making it a fruitful day for Karnataka which finished with a six gold haul.

The results:

Men: 200m freestyle: 1. Aaron D’Souza (Kar), 1:57.07; 2. Ashwin Menon (Kar), 1:58.72; 3. Amar Muralidharan (Pol), 2:00.49.

50m butterfly: 1. Arjun Muralidharan (Pol), 25.76s (NMR, Old: 26:09s by Arjun in the heats); 2. K. Rajiv (Rlys), 26.28; 3. Akbar Ali Mir (Rlys), 26.67.

400m individual medley: 1. Rehan Poncha (Kar), 4:33.59 (NR, Old: 4:34.64 by Rehan Poncha in Asian age group 2007); 2. Aditya Sangavekar (Rlys), 4:44.72; 3. V. Abhishek (Kar), 5:38.48.

4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka (8:03.25) (NMR, Old: 8:08.32 by Karnataka 2006); 2. Services (8:08.32); 3. Railways (8:14.25).

Women: 200m freestyle: 1. Shikha Tandon (Kar), 2:11.90; 2. Kshipra Mahajan (Kar), 2:13.33; 3. C. Shubha (MP), 2:13.74.

50m butterfly: 1. Shikha Tandon (29.41s) (NR, Old: 29:44 by C. Shubha 2005); 2. Lekha Kamath (Mah), 29.46; 3. C. Shubha (29.98).

400m individual medley: 1. Richa Mishra (Pol), 5:04.84 (NMR, Old: 5:07.13 by Richa Mishra 2006); 2. Pooja R. Alva (Kar), 5:18.56; 3. Madhavi Giri (Kar), 5:38.48.

4x200m freestyle relay: Karnataka (9:15.34); 2. Police (9:37.44); 3. Maharashtra (9:38.58).

Diving: High Board: Men: 1. Tushar Gitaye (Rlys), 314.85 pts; 2. Depender Pramanik (Rlys), 252.80; 3. Madan Jawalekar (Pol), 250.70.

Women: 1. Hruthika Shriram (Rlys), 217.30; 2. Yogita (Rlys), 197.80; 3. Rupali Shinde (Mah), 193.50.

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