Bengaluru, Oct 28 (IANS) Karnataka’s 17-year-old Sambhavv R stole the limelight with a sensational swim in the 50m freestyle for men, which is the fastest race in Day 3 of the ongoing 74th Senior National Aquatic Championships 2021 here on Thursday.
Sambhavv, who trains at the Bangalore Swimmers Research Centre under coach Jairajan, clocked 23.65 seconds to win the gold ahead of Maharashtra’s Mihir Ambre who timed 23.76 seconds while his state-mate Heer Shah touched pads at 23.93 seconds to take home the silver.
Sambhavv, who won four golds, one bronze at the recently concluded 47TH Junior National Aquatic Championships, surprised his senior compatriots as he dominated the sprint event right from the start. While the race remained even between five swimmers who all clocked within 24 seconds-mark, Sambhavv came up with a perfect finish to clinch the gold.
“I was quite confident of doing well. I had timed 23.5 seconds in the Junior Nationals last week to win the race so I was pretty sure I had a strong chance. I thought Srihari (Nataraj) would take part in this event, and I was expecting him to be my toughest competition, but he didn’t take part,” stated Sambhavv after winning his first-ever gold at the Senior National Championships.
“This is my second appearance at the Senior meet but it’s my first gold medal so I’m really happy even though this is not my personal best time,” added an elated Sambhavv.
In the 200m butterfly for men, two-time Olympian Sajan Prakash was unchallenged as he went on to win the gold with a comfortable lead of over five seconds. He clocked 1:58.74 to win the gold for Kerala Police while Aryan Panchal of Gujarat won the silver with a time of 2:04.41 seconds and Bikram Changmai of Assam won the bronze with a time of 2:05.58 seconds.
Delhi’s Kushagra Rawat, meanwhile, rewrote yet another national record in the 1500m freestyle for men. He timed 15:38.13 seconds to sink his own record of 15:41.45 seconds set in 2019. Aneesh Gowda of Karnataka finished second with a time of 16:11.42 seconds and Vedaant Madhavan of Maharashtra took home the bronze with a time of 16:15.13 seconds.