National Games: A day of mixed fortunes for star swimmer Sajan Prakash

Swimmer sajan Prakash.
Sajan Prakash clinched gold in the men's 100m butterfly stroke at 36th National Games. File Photo

Ahmedabad: Putting aside the disappointment of having to settle for silver in the 200m freestyle, Kerala's swimming ace Sajan Prakash came back strongly to clinch gold in the men's 100m butterfly stroke at 36th National Games here on Sunday.

Although Sajan was expected to take gold in all three events he competed on the day, the Olympian was not at his best as he seemingly did not regain full fitness after recovering from COVID-19. However, he managed to secure gold in his favorite event with a timing of 55.32sec at the Sardar Patel Aquatic complex. In a nail-biting finish, Sajan (1:52.43sec) was pushed to the second spot by Karnataka's emerging star Aneesh S Gowda (1:51.88sec) in the 200m freestyle final.  

On Sunday, Kerala added eight medals to their overall tally that included three gold, four silver and a bronze. So far, they have won eighteen medals and are placed seventh on the medal table.

The other two gold medals for the state were won by women's rowers and Sheena NV in women's triple jump. The team comprising Meenakshi VS, Aswathi, Varsha KB and Rose Mariya Joshy finished first in the women's coxless fours event before Sheena picked up gold with a jump of 13.37m.

The duo of Aleena Anto and Archa C secured silver for the state in women's coxless pairs. In gymnastics, JS Harikrishnan finished second in the Pommel Horse apparatus event with a score of 15.40. In men's high jump, T Aromal won silver by scaling 2.19 metres. Sarvesh Kushare of Services took home  gold in the event with an effort of 2.27 metres.

By reaching the semifinals of the fencing epee event, MS Greeshma assured herself a bronze medal. Eventually, she lost in the semis to Haryana's Tanishka Khatri (6-15).

Kerala have entered the semifinals of the badminton team event by beating Gujarat 3-1. The women's archery team and the men's kho kho team have also made it to the last-four stage.

Services top the medals table with 51 medals, followed by  Haryana (47) and Uttar Pradesh (30).

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