National Games 2022: Harshika topples Astha to clinch gold; Sajan dominates men’s 200m butterflyOctober 6, 2022
The 14-year-old Harshika Ramachandra of Karnataka toppled another favourite Astha Choudhury on her way to her third individual gold medal in the 36 th National Games Swimming events at the Sardar Patel Aquatic complex here on Wednesday.
Harshika warded off a late challenge from Assam’s Astha Choudhury to win the gold in 200m butterfly with a new games record of 2:19.12. Harshika broke Richa Mishra’s old mark (2:21.68) set in 2015.
Astha, who narrowly failed to beat Richa’s mark in the heats in the morning, was the obvious favourite to win the final. But the Assam girl got off to a slow start while Harshika hit the water early and powered into the lead at the end of the 100m. However, Astha made a strong comeback after 150 metres and chased Harshika in the final 25 metres.
However, the Karnataka girl went all out and sneaked ahead of the Astha. Harshika later anchored Karnataka 4x200m freestyle relay squad to a new games record and took her gold medal tally to four.
Sajan Prakash came up with a dominating performance to win the men’s 200m butterfly with a new record. The Olympian was off to a good start and by the end of the first lap had left the field far behind. Sajan didn’t face any challenge and he finished at least 10 metres ahead of Assam’s Bikram Changmai to set a new record of 1:59.56s. Sajan improved his own record (2:00.69s) set in 2015.
National champion Chahat Arora came up with a scintillating performance in 50m breaststroke. Chahat led from start-to-finish to clock 33.31s and broke A.V. Jayaveena’s old mark (34.43) set in 2015.
The Karnataka men’s 4x200m relay team came from behind to win the gold. Gujarat led initially but the depth in Karnataka’s team enabled it to wrest back the lead and won comfortably in a new games record of 7:41.10.
Men: 50m breaststroke: 1. S.P. Likith (SSCB) (28.62), 2. Vaishnav Hegde (SSCB), 3. Shwejal Mankar (Mah); 200m butterfly: 1. Sajan Prakash (Ker) (1:59.58 – NGR; OR- 2:00.69, Sajan Prakash, Kerala, 2015), 2. Bikram Changmai (Asm), 3. Sanu Debnath (Ben); 4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka (7:41.10 – NGR; OR – 7:44.24s, Maharashtra, 2015), 2. Gujarat, 3. Maharashtra.
Women: 50m breaststroke: 1. Chahat Arora (Pun) (33.31s – NGR; OR – 34.43, A.V.Jayaveena, TN, 2015); 2. Aarti Patil (Mah), 3. Manavi Varma (Kar); 200m butterfly: Hashika Ramachandra Kar) (2:19.12 -NGR; OR – 2:21.68, Richa Mishra, MP, 2015), 2. Astha Choudhury (Asm), 3. Vritti Agarwal (Tel); 4x200m freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka (8:51.59 – NGR; OR – 8:54.73, Maharashtra, 2015), 2. Tamil Nadu, 3. Bengal.