Karnataka teen Sambhavv R stole the limelight with a sensational swim in the 50m freestyle event while Delhi's Kushagra Rawat continued his record-breaking spree at the 74th Senior National Aquatic Championships in Bengaluru on Thursday. (More Sports News)
The 17-year-old Sambhavv clocked 23.65 seconds to win the gold in the 50m freestyle event -- the fastest race at the ongoing meet -- ahead of Maharashtra's Mihir Ambre who timed 23.76 seconds while his state-mate Heer Shah touched pads at 23.93 seconds to take home the silver.
Sambhavv, who won four golds and one bronze at the recently concluded 47th Junior National Aquatic Championships, surprised his senior compatriots as he dominated the sprint event right from the start.
While the race remained even between five swimmers who all clocked within 24 seconds-mark, Sambhavv came up with a perfect finish to clinch the gold.
"I was quite confident of doing well. I had timed 23.5 seconds in the Junior Nationals last week to win the race so I was pretty sure I had a strong chance," stated Sambhavv.
"This is my second appearance at the Senior meet but it's my first gold medal so I'm really happy even though this is not my personal best time," he added.
Rawat, meanwhile, rewrote yet another national record in the 1500m freestyle for men. He timed 15:38.13 seconds to sink his own national mark of 15:41.45 seconds set in 2019.
The 21-year-old Delhi swimmer had also set a new national record in the 400m and 800m freestyle events.
Aneesh Gowda of Karnataka finished second with a time of 16:11.42 seconds and Vedaant Madhavan of Maharashtra took home the bronze with a time of 16:15.13 seconds.
In the 200m butterfly for men, two-time Olympian Sajan Prakash was unchallenged as he went on to win the gold with a comfortable lead of over five seconds.
He clocked 1:58.74 to win the gold for Kerala Police, while Aryan Panchal of Gujarat won the silver with a time of 2:04.41 seconds and Bikram Changmai of Assam won the bronze with a time of 2:05.58 seconds.
Srihari Nataraj claimed the gold in the 50m backstroke event with a timing of 25.77 seconds ahead of Vinayak Vijay (26.78) and Xavier Michael D'Souza (27.16), who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.