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Deepak Kumar gives a perfect finale


By S. Sabanayakan

CALCUTTA, NOV. 10. Deepak Kumar Singh of Police gave a perfect finale to the 55th senior National aquatic championship with a National record in the men's 200m breaststroke on the sixth and final day at the Subhas Sarobar Complex here on Friday.

Police also kept the men's team championship with 139 points and also emerged the overall winner with some splendid display on the concluding day. Police tallied 245 points for the overall. Karnataka finished second in the overall with 237 points and won the ladies' team championship with 177 points.

Railways, widely expected to win back the men's team title, finished a close second with 134 points while the Police women's team also ended second best with 106 points.

Richa Mishra, who won gold medal No. 10 today, alone contributed 88 points for her team. She was adjudged the women's individual champion. Akbar Ali Mir of Railway was declared the men's individual champion with 56 points.

Railway men and Bengal women won the waterpolo events while Services, with 28 points, won the men's diving championship and Railways, with 30 points, took the women's diving honours.

Deepak Kumar's record breaking effort was a superb one. This helped him to win a double in the breaststroke. He took the 100m event with a National record on the opening day and came up with another record on the final day in the 200m. His gold medal winning time of 2:28.32s was also best recorded by an Indian. It bettered the previous National mark of 2:30.70s by Umesh Tokas set in 1997 and previous best Indian performance of 2:30.19s by Vinay Basavaraj of Karnataka set early this year.

Vinay, who led for most part of the race, found himself being overtaken by Deepak Kumar in the final 50m. Vinay timed 2:29.64, his personal best, yet ended the second best. M. Premanand of Police took the bronze medal.

Richa, undoubtedly the golden girl of the meet, annexed her tenth individual gold medal in winning the women's 200m butterfly in 2:26.74s. It was very creditable indeed for this 16-year-old to perform so well. Two Karnataka girls, Archana Bhusan and Chitra Krishna, finished second and third respectively.

It was a sprint double for both T.A. Sujith of Services and Reshma Millet of Karnataka. Sujith stopped the valiant bid of veteran Sebastian Xavier of Railways with a late surge to win the men's 100m freestyle in 53.80s. He had won the 50m beating Xaveir.

Reshma too added 100m freestyle to her 50m freestyle gold with a start to finish effort. She stopped the clock at 1:00.86s as Richa, despite her best effort, had to contend with the second place with a time of 1:02.95. Tejaswi Shetty was third.

Amar Muralidharan of Police took the 200m butterfly gold medal from Railway's Shreesh Reddy and Pankaj Das. He powered in at 2:10.77s. Karnataka quartet of Reshma, Ambica Iyengar, Sivaranjani and Chitra, took the 4x100m medley relay in 4:53.99s from Maharashtra and Kerala teams.

lThe results: Men, 100m freestyle: 1. T.A. Sujith (Ser) 53.80s, 2. Sebastian Xavier (Rly) 54.58, 3. Akbar Ali Mir (Rly) 54.91.

200m Breaststroke: 1. Deepak Kumar Singh (Pol) 2:28.32s (NR, previous 2:30.70s by Umesh Tokas of Delhi in 1997), 2. Vinay Basavaraj (Kar) 2:29.64s (BMR), 3. M. Premanand (Pol) 2:35.84.

200m butterfly: 1. Amar Muralidharan (Pol) 2:10.77s, 2. Shreesh Reddy (Rly) 2:11.74, 3. Pankaj Das (Rly) 2:12.47.

Women, 100m freestyle: 1. Reshma Millet (Kar) 1:00.86s, 2. Richa Mishra (Pol) 1:02.95, 3. Tejaswi Shetty (Mah) 1:03.70.

200m butterfly: 1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:26.74s, 2. Archana Bhusan (Kar) 2:34.59, 3. Chitra Krishna (Kar) 2:36.85.

4x100m medley relay: 1. Karnataka (Reshma Millet, Ambica Iyengar, V. Sivaranjani, Chitra) 4:53.99s, 2. Maharashtra 4:59.18, 3. Kerala 5:03.33.

Waterpolo, men's final: Railways 8 (Binu Kumar (3), Santosh Kumar, T.N. Shaw, Vivek Merchant, Sandeep Dutta, Kunal Vankudre) beat Services 7 (Bitendra Rai, Somenath Khan (2), Shyam Kumar, Martin Joseph, Sreekumar, Somnath Samanta). Women's final: Bengal 5 (Priti Gupta (2), Pushpa Banik (2), Purnima Pal) beat Maharashtra 4 (Rujuth Deshpande (3), Smita Gawhane); 3-4 places: Kerala 6 (Biji Verghese (4), A.S. Lije, J. Ramiya) beat Police 5 (Meghna Paranjpee (3), Jalaja Deshpande (2)).

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