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Shoan Ganguly blazes away to 200m medley glory

Chahat Arora set the third National record of the day in the 50m breaststroke besting A.V. Jayaveena’ mark from 2018.  

Karnataka’s Shoan Ganguly won his first-ever senior Nationals gold with a blistering freestyle leg in the 200m medley, at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre here on Wednesday.

In what was the most thrilling race of the evening, 16-year-old Shoan’s closest competitor, S. Siva, was almost a body-length ahead through the butterfly and backstroke legs.

Shoan started clawing his way back during the breaststroke leg before finding the finishing kick in the homestretch to go past his fellow Karnataka swimmer and finish in 2:07.37, 0.42 seconds faster.

“Going into the race, I wasn’t expecting the gold,” said Shoan, after the race. “I just wanted to get my personal best.

“In the fly and backstrokes, he was well in front. Breaststroke, I tried to get back, but couldn’t. But in the freestyle leg, I was confident I could catch him,” added Shoan, who trains under S. Pradeep Kumar at Aqua Nation Sports Academy in Dubai.

Elsewhere, Srihari Nataraj and Kushagra Rawat continued their record-breaking spree, setting new best marks in 100m freestyle and 800m freestyle respectively.

Srihari, in fact, clocked 50.17 in the morning heats to erase Virdhawal Khade’s 50.53 from 2012, and went on to lower it further to 49.94 in the final. Such was his dominance that he finished nearly a full body length ahead of second-placed A.S. Anand (51.68s).

A second faster

Kushagra clocked 8:08.32, over a second faster than his previous best timing set in 2019, to set his second record in as many days.

“For the 800m, I was expecting much better timing,” Kushagra said after the win. “I did not have the pacing as I was swimming all by myself. I was aiming for sub-eight. But yes, I am happy with the overall show, as it was a new record also.”

The third National record of the day was Chahat Arora’s in 50m breaststroke (33.62), with the Punjab swimmer rewriting A.V. Jayaveena’ mark of 33:81 from 2018 in the heats and going to win the final with a much slower timing of 33.86.

Maharashtra’s Apeksha Fernandes, who was outstanding in last week’s junior Nationals, continued her form, winning a gold and silver in 200m medley and 50m breaststroke respectively, to add to Tuesday’s gold medal in 200m breaststroke.

The results (winners only): Men: 100m freestyle: Srihari Nataraj (Kar), 49:94 (NMR; OR: 50.17, Srihari Nataraj, 2021); 800m freestyle: Kushagra Rawat (Del), 8:08.32 (NMR; OR: 8:09.47, Kushagra Rawat, 2019); 50m breaststroke: S. Danush (TN), 29:27; 200m medley: Shoan Ganguly (Kar), 2:07.37.

Women: 100m freestyle: Shivangi Sarma (Asm), 59.07; 1500m freestyle: Prachi Tokas (Del), 17:47.28; 50m breaststroke: Chahat Arora (Pun), 33.86; 200m medley: Apeksha Fernandes (Mah), 2:26.28.

Mixed 4x50m freestyle: Karnataka (Srihari, Ridhima Veerendra Kumar, Nina Venkatesh, R. Sambhavv), 1:41.73.

Diving (3m springboard): Men: Siddharth Pardeshi (SSCB), 338.00; Women: Palak Sharma (MP), 176.20.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 4:16:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/shoan-ganguly-blazes-away-to-200m-medley-glory/article37199923.ece

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