Karnataka’s Ridhima Veerendrakumar came up with a sensational swim in the 100m backstroke for group II girls to add another gold medal to the hosts’ kitty and her time of 1:04.87 also broke the national record of 1:05.30 seconds created in 2014 by Olympian Maana Patel of Gujarat on day two of the 37th Sub Junior and 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships, here on Wednesday. Ridhima launched into the race with a powerful start and held on to a good lead all through the race. She was unmatched in the event with the second-place finisher Shalini R Dixit also of Karnataka touching the pads at 1:08.63 while the third place was taken by Sri Nitya Sagi of Telangana with a time of 1:10.14 seconds at the Basavangudi Aquatic Centre (BAC) in Bengaluru. “It was a good race and I am quite excited to create a new national record. I still have 50m backstroke and hoping to do well in that event too,” stated the Bengaluru girl who trains at BAC under coach John Christopher. In another thrilling race of the day, Sambhavv R of Karnataka won the second gold medal in his campaign when he edged past Bikram Changmai of Assam in the 100m butterfly for group I boys. Sambhavv clocked 55.87 seconds to finish ahead of Changmai who clocked 55.92 and third place went to Harsh Saroha of Haryana who touched pads at 55.98. Though Sambhavv was mighty pleased with the effort, he missed the national record of 55.65 held by Maharashtra’s Mihir Ambre created in 2017. “It feels good to win another gold medal, I knew it would be a very close race but my coach Jairajan had prepared me mentally for the challenge. I knew I had to swim faster in the second 50m and that’s what I did,” stated an elated Sambhavv. Assam’s Astha Choudhary, on the other hand, ensured she didn’t miss her target of breaking the national record in the 100m butterfly for group I girls as she clocked 1:02.71 seconds to better her effort in the heats where she clocked 1:03.58 secs to erase Damini Gowda’s record of 1:04.66 secs created in 2016. She was given a tough fight by Maharashtra’s Apeksha Fernendes (1:02.81) and Karnataka’s Nina Venkatesh (1:03.78) all of whom went under the previous national record. Jas Singh of Karnataka, meanwhile, won his fourth individual gold medal in the 100m freestyle for group V boys. He had clinched gold in 100m breaststroke, 200m medley and 50m backstroke on day one. Today, he beat Monish Naidu P of Tamil Nadu Swimming Academy (TNSA) with a time of 1:09.47 while Naidu clocked 1:13.18 to take home the silver medal and S Someshwar clocked 1:13.72 to win bronze
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