The open category men’s relay team comprising of Srihari Nataraj, Anand Anilkumar, Sajan Prakash and Virdhawal Khade registered India’s first gold in the 4X100 metres men’s freestyle relay at the 10th Asian Age Group Championships which began here at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence on Tuesday.
The Indian team clocked a time of 3:23.72 seconds, almost five seconds faster than Iran who finished second with a time of 3:28.46 seconds and Uzbekistan who finished third clocking 3:30.59 seconds. First to get off the blocks for India, Srihari ensured his team got off to a flying start as he touched the pads at 50.68 seconds while Iranian swimmer Sina Gholampour finished behind him at 51.42 seconds. Anand, swimming the second hundred of the 4x100m relay, was impressive as he kept up the lead. He swam the distance in 51.28 seconds while Sajan swimming the third hundred clocked 51.37 seconds while Virdhawal Khade’s powerful 50.39 seconds on the clock guaranteed India’s place on top of the podium.
“It was important that the team got off to a good start and I was entrusted by the team and the coaches with that responsibility. Being the second fastest in the team, I couldn’t let my team down. It was a great effort from all of us and it feels good to win India’s first gold at the Championships,” said Srihari, who is swimming 50m backstroke final in the evening session.
In the 4x100m freestyle relay for open category women, Indian team comprising Rujuta Khade (59.83), Divya Satija (1:01.61), Shivani Kataria (59.57) and Maana Patel (59.75) won silver medal with a total time of 4:00.76 seconds while Thailand bagged gold with 3:54.29 seconds and Hong Kong finished third with a time of 4:08.64 seconds.
India’s second silver medal came in the 4x100m freestyle relay for group II boys. The team featuring Vedaant Madhavan (55.27), Utkarsh Patil (57.10), Sahil Laskar (54.83) and Shoan Ganguly (54.29) clocked a total time of 3:41.49 seconds. They finished behind Japan who won the gold with a time of 3:34.60 seconds which was a New Meet Record (NMR). The previous record of 3:39.03 seconds was also held by Japan. Bronze medal was won by Chinese Taipei who clocked 3:42.29 seconds.
In the group I boys 4x100m freestyle relay, India won bronze with a time of 3:33.52 seconds. The team comprising Vikkas P (54.31), CJ Sanjay (53.92), Adhithya D (52.70), Tanish George Mathew (52.59) finished third behind Hong Kong who finished first with a time of 3:28.32 while Japan was close second with a time of 3:28.34 seconds.