Ace Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj and Delhi's Kushagra Rawat continued to sparkle in the pool as the duo rewrote national records for the second consecutive day at the 74th Senior National Aquatic Championship here on Wednesday.
Punjab’s Chahat Arora was the third swimmer to break a national mark on day 2 of the senior meet being held at the Basavangudi Aquatic Centre here. In the men's 100m freestyle, Nataraj clocked 49.94 seconds in the final to better his own mark of 50.17 he clocked in the heats earlier in the day.
He broke 2010 Asian Games bronze-winning swimmer Virdhawal Khade's record of 50.53 clocked in 2012, in Pune.
“I wanted to start really well and do a quick 25m, I clocked 23seconds in the first 50m. And went 26seconds in the second 50m. I thought could go much faster than 49.94 but feels good to have gotten the record,” Nataraj, who rewrote his own national record in 100m backstroke event on Tuesday, said after the race.
The silver in the event went to Anand As of SSCB. He clocked 51.68 seconds, while Karnataka’s Tanish George Mathew took home the bronze medal with a time of 51.85 seconds.Delhi swimmer Rawat, on the other hand, was in his best elements as he bettered his own mark of 8:09.47 in the 800m freestyle for men.
He clocked 8:08.32 seconds to smash the national record set in 2019 and win the gold medal ahead of Aneesh S Gowda of Karnataka who timed 8:23.89 seconds and Vedaant Madhavan of Maharashtra won the bronze with a time of 8:28.68 seconds. The 21-year-old Rawat had also set a new national record in the 400m freestyle event on day one.
In the women’s category, Chahat stole the limelight with her 50m breast stroke dash. She timed a brilliant 33.62 in the heats to break Tamil Nadu’s AV Jayaveena’s record of 33.81 created in 2018.
Though Chahat couldn’t clock a faster time in the final, her effort of 33.86 was enough for her to win the gold ahead of Apeksha Fernandes of Maharashtra who clocked 34.07 seconds. Manavi Varma of Karnataka won bronze with a time of 36.31 seconds.