The 36th National Games ongoing in Gujarat witnessed a sensational run of form on Wednesday as Karnataka swimmer Hashika Ramachandra steered her way to a 4x200m freestyle relay team win. The win also made sure she was on the podium for the fourth time at the event.
But it was her stunning victory in the 200m butterfly final that set the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex here alight.
The 14-year-old Hashika dug deep into the reserves of her energy to slip past Astha Choudhury and touch the wall in 2 minutes 19.
12 seconds for her third National Games record, including one as part of the relay team, in four days.
The win enabled her to complete an individual treble to overshadow Maharashtra diver Hrutika Shriram, a mother of a two-year-old, and seasoned Sajan Prakash’s efforts on Wednesday.
Favourite Hrutika Shriram stayed on course to repeat a golden hat-trick by winning the women’s 10m platform event.
Though she was not at her best, she did her dives well enough to pick up her second gold in three days and her 10th crown in four editions of the National Games.
Sajan Prakash, braving an abdominal muscle pain, stamped his commanding presence by winning his favourite event, the men’s 200m butterfly with a National Games record.
It was a praiseworthy effort by the experienced swimmer to claim his second gold medal of the National Games in addition to two silver medals.
Meanwhile, with 40 gold and 89 medals in all, Services continued to enjoy an unchallenged run at the top of the medal charts.
Haryana were second with 25 gold, barely ahead of Maharashtra’s 24.
As many as 25 teams have won at least one gold, and 32 contingents at least one medal in the National Games.
For a while, it looked like there would be a surprise gold for Gujarat in the swimming pool.
Their gambit of fielding Aryan Nehra and Anshul Kothari in the first two legs of the 4x200m freestyle worked well, giving rise to hopes to the home fans.
Karnataka’s S Siva and Aneesh S Gowda, however, packed too much power in the next two to win by a comfortable margin.
Inputs from PTI