Bengaluru: A dominant Indian team clinched gold in the 4x100 metres men's freestyle relay on the opening day of the Asian Age Group Championships after emerging almost five seconds faster than nearest rival Iran, here on Tuesday.
The Indian quartet, comprising Srihari Nataraj, Anand Anilkumar, Sajan Prakash and Virdhawal Khade clocked 3:23.72 seconds, almost five seconds faster than the Iran team which timed 3:28.46.
Uzbekistan finished third, clocking 3:30.59 seconds at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence.
First to get off the blocks for India, Srihari ensured his team got off to a flying start as he touched the pads at 50.68 seconds while Iranian swimmer Sina Gholampour finished behind him at 51.42 seconds.
Anand, swimming the second hundred of the race, was impressive as he kept up the lead. He swam the distance in 51.28 seconds while Sajan 51.37. Khade's powerful 50.39 seconds on the clock guaranteed India's place on top of the podium.
"It was important that the team got off to a good start and I was entrusted by the team and the coaches with that responsibility. Being the second fastest in the team, I couldn't let my team down. It was a great effort from all of us and it feels good to win India's first gold at the Championships," said Srihari, who will compete in the 50m backstroke final in the evening session.
In the 4x100m freestyle relay for open category women, Indian team comprising Rujuta Khade (59.83), Divya Satija (1:01.61), Shivani Kataria (59.57) and Maana Patel (59.75) won silver medal with a total time of 4:00.76 seconds while Thailand bagged gold with 3:54.29 seconds and Hong Kong finished third with a time of 4:08.64 seconds.
India's second silver medal came in the 4x100m freestyle relay for group II boys. The team featuring Vedaant Madhavan (55.27), Utkarsh Patil (57.10), Sahil Laskar (54.83) and Shoan Ganguly (54.29) clocked a total time of 3:41.49 seconds.
They finished behind Japan who won the gold with a time of 3:34.60 seconds which was a New Meet Record (NMR). The previous record of 3:39.03 seconds was also held by Japan. The bronze medal was won by Chinese Taipei who clocked 3:42.29 seconds.
In the group I boys 4x100m freestyle relay, India won the bronze with a time of 3:33.52 seconds. The team comprising Vikkas P (54.31), CJ Sanjay (53.92), Adhithya D (52.70), Tanish George Mathew (52.59) finished third behind Hong Kong (3:28.32) and Japan (3:28.34 seconds).
India's impressive show continued as Kushagra Rawat bagged two gold medals in individual events.
Rawat clocked 1:52.30 seconds while fellow Indian Anand Anilkumar finished third with a time of 1:54.19 seconds in 200m freestyle event in open men's category.
Syria's Abbas Omar finished second and was only a fraction of a second slower than Rawat with a time of 1:52.33 seconds.
"I caught up with my opponent in the last 75 metres. I looked up and saw my opponent was right next to me and I had a lot left in me, I decided to go all out. I beat by opponent by a margin and I'm sure I can better my time to 1:51 seconds," said Rawat.
He later won the 800m freestyle event, clocking 8:10.05 to finish ahead of Chang Cheng Livei (8:20.14) of Chinese Taipei and Abbas Omar (8:31.64) of Syria.
Shoan Ganguly also won gold for India in the 200 metres individual medley group II boys with a time of 2:11.18. He also won the silver in the 200 metres freestyle clocking 1:55.18 seconds apart from winning a silver in the 4X100 metres freestyle relay for group II boys.
Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel took India's count to an impressive six gold medals, with their stupendous effort in the 50m backstroke event for open category men and women respectively. Nataraj clocked 25.30 to win the gold while Patel clocked 29.92 to win.
"My personal best is actually 29.30 which I had clocked four years ago at the same meet in Bangkok but after my injury I struggled over the past four years and could not break the sub-30 seconds barrier. But to have done it today giving me the confidence to go faster," said Patel.
"I think my finish was poor. I glided too long but I am glad I had taken enough lead which helped me finish first. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is my main event - the 100m backstroke and I can't afford any such errors," Srihari, who was also part of India's gold-winning 4x100m relay team, said.
He beat Atayev Merdan (26.30) from Turkmenistan and Chograthin Kasipat (26.36) from Thailand.
Meanwhile, India's ace swimmer Sajan Prakash won the silver medal in the 200 metres individual medley. He finished behind Ketin Nuttapong (2:0629) and ahead of Sukkieo Phuwadon (2:08.21) both from Thailand.
Likith Selvaraj also added to India's medal tally by winning the bronze medal in the 100 metres breaststroke men's open category with time of 1:02.19 seconds. Vladislav Mustafin (1:01.41) of Uzbhekistan and Denis Petrashov (1:01.88) of Kyrgyzstan finished first and second respectively.
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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2019 22:00:54 IST