Srihari Nataraj and Shivani Kataria claimed the Best Swimmers trophy at the recently concluded 71st Senior National Championships in Bhopal.
Nataraj won four golds and one silver at the meet, scripting three new meet records, while Kataria won four golds and made two new records. Sajjan Prakash, another experienced candidate, won five golds and created two meet records.
Karnataka topped the overall medal tally with a total of 30 medals and 238 points, followed by Railways with 20. The Men’s Championships was won by Railways with 139 points, while Karnataka emerged victories in the women’s event with a score of 133 points.
Nataraj, who won the Individual Championships at the Junior Nationals earlier in Pune, also qualified for the Youth Olympics to be held in Buenos Aires in November next year.
Current National record holder Saurabh Sangvekar, representing Railways, won the 800m Freestyle race leading the event for the most part with a time of 8:23.84. Local boy Advait Page won silver with a time of 8:25.93, while A S Anand of Services clinched the bronze with a time of 8:26.76.
Nataraj won the 50m Backstroke with a record time of 57.20, while Madhu PS (57.28) of Services won silver and Arvind Mani (58.34) of Karnataka won bronze.
Haryana’s Kataria beat Karnataka’s Malavika V to win gold in the 400m Freestyle with a time of 4:28.29, while 15-year-old Khushi Dinesh (4:36.59) won bronze.
Kerala’s Prakash dominated his favourite 200m Butterfly from start to finish to win his fifth gold of the event with a new record time of 1:59.12. Supriyo Mondal (2:02.91) of RSPB won silver and Karnataka’s Avinash Mani (2:03.27) bagged the bronze medal.
Delhi’s Richa Mishra (2:22.86) won her third gold in the 200m Butterfly for women. She finished ahead of Damini Gowda (2:24.08) of Karnataka who won silver, while Trisha Kharkhanis (2:27.06) of Maharashtra won bronze.
Meenakshi V K R (1:07.27) of Tamil Nadu staved off a late surge from Yuga Birnale (1:07.68) of Maharashtra to win the 100m Backstroke. Youngster Suvana C Bhaskar (1:08.31) won the bronze medal.
The Diving Championship was won by Services and Railways with 34 and 31 points respectively in men’s and women’s section.
Earlier in water polo, Maharashtra and Railways won the gold in the women’s and men’s section respectively while Police and Services won the silver.