Richa, Khade adjudged best swimmers of 34th National Games

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 19 (PTI) Richa Mishra and Virdhawal Khadehauled 11 and eight gold medals respectively to be adjudgedthe best in their respective sections as the swimmingcompetition concluded in the 34th National Games here today.

Poster boy of Indian swimming, Khade sunk one record inthe day to conclude his campaign with eight gold, two silverand two bronze medals including one silver and one bronze inthe relay events.

The last day also saw a second record by Sandeep Sejwalin the 100m breastroke.

The Asian Games bronze medalist won all the eight titleswith record timings as he logged 64 points to be adjudged theBest Swimmer among the men.

Khade was happy to improve his 6-2-2 performance in theprevious edition of the National Games in Guwahati four yearsago.

"It''s extremely satisfying for the fact that we wereunplanned for the Games. It''s a good start to the season as weaim to acquire quota places for the London Olympics 2012 inthe World Championships (due in July)," Khade said.

In line to break the 12-year-old record of Nisha Millet,who clinched 11 individual gold in Manipur National Games in1999, Richa finished second in both her events -- 100m breaststroke and 100m freestyle -- to settle for 11 gold.

The 27-year-old Delhi girl finished with 16 medals(11-4-1) out of all the 17 individual competitions as shemissed out only in the 50m breaststroke where she was pushedto fifth spot.

Richa totalled 103 points with seven meet records to beadjudged the Best Swimmer among women.

Looking for her 12th gold, Richa had a poor timing1:20.81s to finish more than two seconds behind Maharashtra''sPoorva Shetye (1:18.84s) as 12-year-old Tamil Nadu girl A VJayaveena took the bronze with 1:21.46s in the 100mbreaststroke.

Goan sprint ace Talasha Prabhu denied Richa (1:00.92s)the top spot in the 100m freestyle by claiming the goldcomfortable with a timing of 1:00.01s.

Maharashtra''s Aarti Ghorpade (1:01.88s) bagged thebronze.

"I consider her (Richa) as my swimming idol, so it''sreally a proud moment for me," Talasha told PTI.

Representing Madhya Pradesh, Sejwal smashed his heatrecord of 1:06.76s when he touched the pad at 1:03.85s enroute to the 100m breaststroke title. Haryana''s Puneet Rana(1:05.47s) and Punjab''s Jashandeep Singh (1:07.56s) took thesilver and bronze respectively. .

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