Mir improves own meet mark

KOLKATA AUG. 10. Akbar Ali Mir of Eastern Railway warmed up for the upcoming National meet with a record-breaking performance in the opening day of the four-day 44th all-India inter-Railway aquatics championship at the Subhas Sarobar Complex here on Sunday.

The 19-year-old powered to 200m backstroke gold medal with a time of 2:14.54s which bettered his own mark of 2:15.37s set in 2001.

On the first day, the host won four of the five events with the lone gold medal going to Western Railway whose A. Rajamani won the 200m breaststroke in 2:40.97s.

Sudip Chatterjee of Eastern won his pet event, 50m butterfly, in 27.42s.

It was one-two for the host as Akbar's brother Habib Ali Mir finished second in 28.06 and I.C. Raju of Southern was third in 28.60.

In the waterpolo event, Western Railway and Central Railway moved into the semifinals.

Western defeat Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, 12-1 while Central defeated Southern 12-7. In earlier matches, DLW beat Railway Board 5-2 and Central eliminated North Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur, 7-0.

In the last four stage matches to be played tomorrow, defending champion Eastern would take on Western while last year's runner-up South Eastern would be challenged by Central Railway.

The results:

400m freestyle: 1. Soumyadeep Bandyopadhyay (ER) 4:26.31s, 2. Pankaj Das (SER) 4:28.66, 3. Subrata Nandy (ER) 4:30.48.

200m backstroke: 1. Akbar Ali Mir (ER) 2:14.54s (NMR, previous 2:15.37), 2. Dipesh Bairagi (ER) 2:25.57, 3. M.K. Jayaprasad (SR) 2:26.99.

200m breaststroke: 1. A. Rajamani (WR) 2:40.97, 2. Khokan Haldar (SER) 2:42.09, 3. Anupam Saha (ER) 2:42.27.

50m butterfly: 1. Sudip Chatterjee (ER) 27.42s, 2. Habib Ali Mir (ER) 28.06, 3. I.C. Raju (SR) 28.60.

4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Eastern Railway (Subrata Nandy, Dipesh Bairagi, Habib & Akbar Ali Mir) 8:42.9/09s, 2. Southern (M.K. Jayaprasad, A.S. Manamayil, Sebastian Xavier & R. Reji Kumar) 8:59.34, 3. South Eastern 9:22.26.

Waterpolo: DLW (Varanasi) bt Railway Board 5-2; Central bt NER (Gorakhpur) 7-0; Western bt DLW 12-1; Central bt Southern 12-7.