Khade, Richa set new Games record in swimming

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 13 (PTI) Asian Games bronze medalist VirdhawalKhade and Richa Mishra shattered two meet records each asMaharashtra clinched three gold while Delhi bagged two in theswimming competition on day one of the 34th National Gameshere today.

The swimming competition also saw a fifth record whenKarnataka men''s 100m freestyle team of Arjun J P, Gagan A P,Aditya Roshan and Ashwin Menon scripted their names in Gameshistory.

It was also a memorable day for Delhi girl Richa, whoshattered two meet records en route to her double gold.

With shouts of ''Come on Viru, Come on Viru'' at a packedVeer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Stadium in the Mega Sports Complex,the Indian swimming sensation opened his account in the 200mfreestyle with a Games record timing of 1.53:91s.

The Kolhapur lad had a comfortable two seconds lead overhis nearest opponent Rohit Havaldar of Karnataka as he went onto better his previous Games best timing of 01.54:18s.

Havaldar (1.56:16s) and Gagan A P (1.56:93s) finishedsecond and third respectively to give a silver-bronze finishfor Karnataka.

In his second event of the day, Khade eclipsed theprevious Games best timing of 00.57:38 by Akbar Ali Mir (2002)in the 100m butterfly for his second gold with a meet recordof 55:56.

Khade had more than two seconds lead over Delhi''s TarunTokas (58:21) who settled for silver, while Bengal openedtheir account with a bronze courtesy Sumanta Nath (59.62).

The 19-year-old then gave the much needed boost to theMaharashtra relay team as he powered them for a bronze medalfinish in the 4x100m freestyle with a timing of 03.44:30.

Karnataka clinched the gold, while Services SportsControl Board (SSCB) claimed the silver with a timing of03.42:91.

Richa, who was mired in doping controversy ahead of theCommonwealth Games last year, bettered Shikha Tandon''s recordof 02.10:48 in the 200m women''s freestyle for her first goldwith a timing of 02.09:53.

Talasha Prabhu of Goa bagged the silver clocking02.11:62, while Aarti Ghorpade of Maharashtra bagged thebronze with a timing of 02.12:12.

In the 100m freestyle women, Richa bettered her previousGames best timing of 01.05:22 for her second gold with arecord timing of 01.04:41.

Pooja Alva of Karnataka (01.05:34) and Maharashtra''sRujuta Bhatt (01.06:42) clinched the silver and bronzerespectively.

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