Sajan Prakash overcame an abdominal strain to win the gold medal in the men’s 200m butterfly with a new meet record at the National Games 2022 in Gujarat on Wednesday. Olympian Sajan Prakash, representing Kerala, clocked 1:59.56 in the final to win the gold, beating his own National Games record set at the previous edition in Kerala.
This is Sajan Prakash’s second gold medal at the National Games 2022 after the men’s 100m butterfly. Meanwhile, Hashika Ramachandra anchored the Karnataka 4x200m freestyle relay team to triumph to climb the podium at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex here for the fourth time in this edition but it was her incredible victory in the 200m butterfly final that set the venue alight.
Ramachandra dug deep into the reserves of her energy to slip past Astha Choudhury and touch the wall in 2 minutes 19.12 seconds for her third National Games record, including one as part of the relay team, in four days. Hrutika Shriram stayed on course to repeat the golden hat-trick by winning the women’s 10m platform event. Though she was self-admittedly not at her best, she did her dives well enough to pick up her second gold in three days and her 10th crown in four editions of the National Games.
For a while, it looked like there would be a surprise gold for Gujarat in the swimming pool. Their gambit of fielding Aryan Nehra and Anshul Kothari in the first two legs of the 4x200m Freestyle worked well, giving rise to hopes in the hearts of the home fans. Karnataka’s S Siva and Aneesh S Gowda, however, packed too much power in the next two to win by a comfortable margin. There was delight for Gujarat at the Riverfront Sports Development complex in Ahmedabad where rising Gujarat tennis player Zeel Desai helped the state retain the women’s singles gold in defending champion Ankita Raina’s absence. The third-seeded Zeel Desai led Karnataka’s Sharmada Balu 6-2, 3-2 when the latter retired with an ankle injury.
Tamil Nadu’s Manish Sureshkumar also benefited from the physical discomfort and rib pain Maharashtra’s Arjun Kadhe faced after winning the opening set. He could not maintain the same tempo after taking a medical time-out in the second set and Manish Sureshkumar pounced on the opportunity to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. Tamil Nadu’s Sunayna Kuruvilla staged a dramatic comeback to win the women’s singles gold. Urvashi Joshi of Maharashtra won the first two games 11-9 and 11-7 but Sunayna found her rhythm to turn the final on its head. She conceded just 13 points in winning three games to romp home the winner.
The lawn bowls competition drew to a close at the Kensville Golf and Country Club near Ahmedabad with Assam’s Sunil Bahadur beating Soumen Banerjee (Jharkhand) 16-9 in the men’s singles final. Navneet Singh, Ayush Bharadwaj, Apurv Ashutosh Sharma and Abhishek Chug teamed up to beat West Bengal by the skin of their teeth, 15-14, in the Fours final. The Assam Pair of Tania Choudhary and Nayanmoni Saikia beat Lovely Choubey and Rupa Rani Tirkey of Jharkhand 17-10 while Manu Kumari Pal, Jaya and Pinki surprised Jharkhand’s Sarita Tirkey, Anamika Lakra and Kavita Kumari 18-9 to win the Triples gold.