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Shikha, Akbar best swimmers

September 22, 2003 22:12 IST

Golden girl Shikha Tandon and talented Railway swimmer Akbar Ali Mir emerged best in the women's and men's sections respectively while Karnataka emerged overall champions on the final day of the 57th National Aquatics Championships in Kolkata on Monday.

Tandon, who started her campaign at the Subhas Sarovar pool by attaining the Olympic qualifying mark in the 50 metres freestyle, finished with a fourth record in the meet on way to grabbing gold in 100m freestyle.

The Karnataka girl, who is the only Indian swimmer to attain the Olympic qualifying mark, clocked 58.91 seconds to erase Nisha Millet's record of 1:00.45 seconds, set in 1997.

Tandon equalled Millet and Police Sports Control Board's Richa Mishra haul of four golds each, but was adjudged best swimmer as per the international points rating system of FINA.

In the men's section, Akbar set his second national record and bagged his third gold, winning the 200m butterfly with a timing of 2:08.17 seconds. He bettered the eight year-old mark of Railways' K Suresh Kumar (2:08.38s).

Altogether four new national marks were set on the final day today to take the total number of records created at the meet to 24.

Karnataka, who were overall team champions in the last edition of the meet, retained their position with 287 points and a tally of 17 golds, 15 silvers and six bronzes.

The talented quartet of  the Millet sisters, Nisha and Reshma, and Tandon and V Sivaranjani helped Karnataka to emerge team champions in the women's section with 217 points while PSCB won the top honours in the men's category with 135 points.

Karnataka were followed by PSCB and Services Sports Control Board in the medal tally in the swimming events.

Talented swimmer Richa Sharma, who made a big splash with her awesome performance, set her fourth record on way to picking up her fourth gold, winning the 200m butterfly. The 19-year-old lass, representing PSCB, clocked 2:19.63s to erase the mark set by Karnataka's Meghana Narayan in 1997.

Sharma, who hails from Delhi, said she would aim to attain the Olympic qualifying mark in her pet events -- the 100m and 200m butterfly -- at the Afro Asian Games.

T A Sujith established the other new national mark today. The SSCB swimmer won the men's 100m freestyle in 53.51s, obliterating the eight-year-old record of of 53.65s, set by Railways' Sebastian Xavier.

Local lad Gairik Bardhan won Bengal a gold after 19 years. The 17-year-old swimmer finished first in the 200m breaststroke in 2:30.20s to take his individual tally to one gold, two silvers and one bronze.

In diving events, Mamoni Mondal (RSPB), who clinched two gold and a silver, emerged individual champion in the women's category with 19 points, finishing ahead of team mate and close contender Taniya Ganguli. Ganguli, however, had the consolation of setting the only record in the diving events.

In the men's section, G B Sharath of Karnataka was adjudged individual champion though he finished level on points (10) with Sandeep Mishra of RSPB.

RSPB emerged team champions in diving in both he men's and women's sections.

In men's waterpolo, SSCB emerged winners, outplaying RSPB 8-6 in the final while the Kerala women made it to the top, edging past PSCB 5-4 in women's final.

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