| Deepak Singh (left), who won the 100m breaststroke, with Gairik Bardhan on Sunday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: It rained national records on the penultimate day of the 57th national aquatic championships at the Subhas Sarobar pool. Of the eight events in which gold medals were decided on Sunday, all but one saw a new mark.
It was the dayís final race ó menís 100m breaststroke ó which generated the maximum excitement and full-throated cheering. Simply because a local boy was in the field and with a decent chance of bagging a medal.
Gairik Bardhan didnít disappoint the close-to-thousand wildly cheering audience. He earned the silver and, with a bit of luck, could have gone one better.
The man to deny him was Policeís Deepak Singh. Deepak stopped the clock at 1:08.91, Gairik returned a career-best 1:08.80.Gairik thus became the first Bengal swimmer to go below 1:10.00 in 100 backstroke.
Earlier, another friendly rivalry between local divers Mamoni Mondal and Taniya Ganguly produced a rather one-sided contest. Mamoni was much the better performer on the day and won by a margin of nearly 20 points.
The redoubtable Nisha Millet set the ball rolling, winning the 1500 freestyle hands down and adding one more record in her name. She clocked 18:42.72 to better Ambika Iyengarís 2002 mark of 18:56.42.
Policeman Mandar Anand Divase rewrote the menís 800 freestyle record, his 8:45.88 sinking Kailash Nathís 8:51.24 set last year. Karnataka duo Shikha Tandon and V. Sivaranjani kept up their record-breaking acts. Shikhaís 31.32 in the 50 backstroke heats put to shade Sangeeta Raniís 31.51 (in 1998). She went on to win gold but with an inferior timing of 31.44.
Sivaranjaniís 2:49.68 set a new standard in 200 breaststroke. The previous mark was in the name of Richa Mishra (2:49.88). Services bagged the menís 400 freestyle relay with a record timing of 3:40.46. Tamil Naduís V. Arun completed the record-filled day, breaking the menís 50 backstroke mark with a 28.17 swim in the heats. He managed 28.37 in the finals, but that was good enough for top spot.
MEN ó 800 freestyle: 1. Mandar Anand Divase (Police, 8:45.88) NR; 2. Kailash Nath (Police, 8:53.44); 3. Terishmon Thomas (SSCB, 8:58.84). 50 backstroke: 1. V. Arun (TN, 28.37); 2. Dipesh Bairagi (RSPB) and Mirajul Rehman (SSCB) both 28.86; 3. Joshy Joseph (SSCB, 29.13). 100 breaststroke: 1. Deepak Singh (Police, 1:08.80); 2. Gairik Bardhan (Bengal, 1:08.91); 3. Puneet Rana (Punjab, 1:09.16). 400 freestyle relay: 1. SSCB (V. Sebastien, S. Rajimon, J. Rennichan. T.A. Sujith ó 3:40.46) NR; 2. RSPB (3:45.52); 3. Karnataka (3:47.09). WOMEN ó 1500 freestyle: 1. Nisha Millet (Kar, 18:42.72) NR; 2. Awani Sawant (Maha, 19:09.37); 3. V. Remya (Ker, 19:47.83). 50 backstroke: 1. Shikha Tandon (Kar, 31.44); 2. Reshma Millet (Kar, 31.97); 3. Sony Cyriac (Ker, 32.09). 200 breaststroke: 1. V. Sivaranjani (Kar, 2:49.68) NR; 2. Bhavna Sharma (Police, 2:52.67); 3. Archana Bhushan (Kar, 2:53.45). 400 freestyle relay: 1. Karnataka (Ambika Iyengar, V. Sivaranjani, Reshma Millet, Shikha Tandon ó 4:08.91) NR; 2. Police; 3. Kerala. DIVING ó Menís 1m springboard: 1. G.B. Sharath (Kar, 265.05 pts); 2. Sandeep Mishra (RSPB, 252.00); 3. Yogesh Hari Watve (SSCB, 249.00). Womenís 1m springboard: 1. Mamoni Mondal (RSPB, 180.35); 2. Taniya Ganguly (RSPB, 168.55); 3. Ashwini Mohite (Kar, 165.10).
Bengal swimmer assaulted
A Bengal swimmer Nanigopal Ghosh was beaten up by a clutch of Police players during their water-polo third-place play-off match. Nanigopal Ghosh, who was initiating most of the Bengal attacks, bled profusely after being hit on the nose. Bengal, however, won the match 9-3 to clinch the bronze.