Rajkot, October 2 (SocialNews.XYZ) Astha Choudhury (Assam) has claimed the honor of becoming the first female swimmer to break a record as National Aquatic Games competition kicked off at the Sardar Patel Aquatic Complex here on Sunday.
She clocked 1:03.91 in the heats of the 100m butterfly to take the Games record from Richa Mishra, who set it at 1:04.41 at Ranchi in 2011.
Incidentally, the butterfly specialist clocked a time of 1:03.07 in Guwahati last month to claim the national record as well.
Tanishi Gupta (Karnataka) and Divya Satija (Haryana) were second and third fastest in the heats today.
Sajan Prakash, the top male athlete at the 2015 National Games, began his quest to repeat that feat by competing in two individual finals and the 4x100m freestyle relay final with Team Kerala. On a day when his young Olympic colleague, Srihari Nataraj, only appeared in the freestyle relay heats, Sajan Prakash declared his intention in very clear terms.
Conscious of the number of races he will have to contest in his pursuit of this title, he exercised caution in doing enough to qualify for the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly finals. Sajan Prakash started with a 1:55.74 in the 200m freestyle, his time being the fifth fastest in the heats behind rising star Aneesh S Gowda and Sambhavv Rao (both from Karnataka), Gujarat’s big hope Aryan Nehra and Vishal Grewal (Delhi).
Vedaant Madhavan, who trains alongside Sajan Prakash in Dubai, also reached the final. National champion Harsh Saroha (Haryana), who finished ninth, was marked as a reserve for the final.
The very experienced Sajan Prakash took the lead in qualifying for the 100m butterfly with a time of 56.16 seconds. Sambhavv Rao also reached his second final, clocking 57.47, although it was Bikram Changmai (Assam) of Assam who was the second fastest qualifier in the heats.
Karnataka youngster Dhindihi Desinghu was the fastest in the women’s 200m freestyle heats, clocking 2:11.44. She would get the place of honor in the allocation of lanes in the final ahead of Bhavya Sachdeva (Delhi) and Shivangi Sarma (Assam).