Richa, Khade hogs limelight in pool

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Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 17 (PTI) Richa Mishra and Virdhawal Khadehogged the limelight with two gold medals each in the swimmingcompetition of the 34th National Games here today.

By picking two gold medals, Richa totalled nine which isa personal record for her as she bettered her eight goldeffort in the last edition of the Games in Guwahati (2007).

For Asian Games bronze medalist Khade the count stood atfive as swimmers shattered four records including two by the19-year-old Indian swimming sensation while the morningsession saw one more record in diving.

Propelled by her stupendous performance, Richa now setssights on earning quota berths for 2012 Olympics.

"I wanted to break the eight gold mark. I did it and it''svery satisfying. The season has started on a perfect note. Ihope to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and I would givemy best to qualify," Richa said.

Richa, who was mired in doping controversy ahead of theCommonwealth Games, credited her parents for the moralsupport.

"I credit my coach and parents for whatever success Ihave had so far," she said.

Three time National record holder Richa is participatingin all the 17 individual and three relay events.

The 27-year-old Delhi girl opened the day''s account bybagging the gold in the 1,500m freestyle event clocking18:14.79s. Karnataka''s Sushaka Pratap (18:43.01s) and TamilNadu''s Anusha Mehta (19:24.01s) won the silver and bronzerespectively.

In 100m backstroke, Richa clocked 1:09.22s for her ninthgold as Maharashtra''s Aarti Ghorpade (1:09.85s) and TamilNadu''s R Sushmitha (1:11.67s) won the silver and bronzerespectively.

Richa also bagged a silver in the 50m butterfly byfinishing behind Karnataka''s Pooja Alva (29:87s) with atiming of 29.98s. Talasha Prabhu of Goa (30.14) won thebronze. .

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