The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gairik, Samir pick up golds

New Delhi: Bengal picked up two gold medals on the opening day of the junior national aquatic championships here on Tuesday. Bengal’s golden boys were Gairik Bardhan, in the 100m backstroke in group I and Samir Das, who won the 50m backstroke in the same group.

However, the limelight was firmly on Rehan Poncha, who stole the show breaking his own junior national record in the 200m individual medley as Karnataka ruled the roost, pocketing 10 of the 16 gold medals decided.

After a brief rain-induced stoppage at the Talkatora pool, Poncha clocked 2 minutes 14.33 seconds, clipping more than two seconds off his earlier mark of 2:16.69, set in last year’s edition in Chennai.

The star in the girls’ section was Karnataka’s Ambica Iyengar who won two golds in group I category winning the 200m freestyle and 100m breast stroke.

Maharashtra won three golds, Bengal two and Tamil Nadu opened their account when R. Aishwarya won the last event of the day, the 50m back stroke in girls’ group I.

There was an air of expectation as Poncha got on the starting block for the start of the 200m individual medley.

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