Rujuta Khade Breaks 20-year-old Meet record

Maharashtra’s Rujuta Khade wrested the spotlight on the third evening of the 76th National Aquatics Championships by improving on the women’s 50m Freestyle meet record, set by Shikha Tandon 20 years ago, with a time of 26.47 seconds at the GMC Balayogi Sports Complex Swimming Pool in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

In a final that saw the top seven finish inside 27 seconds – only Shikha, Kenisha Gupta and she herself had done this before Tuesday – Rujuta made it a doubly sweet evening for the family, after Virdhawal Khade, her 31-year-old husband, had pipped younger sprinters to the wall in 22.82 seconds in the men’s 50m Freestyle.

Gujarat’s Aryan Nehra completed a hat-trick of gold medals in the competition, winning the gruelling men’s 1500m Freestyle with another meet record to show for his form and efforts over the past three evenings.  Yet again, the 19-year-old set too hot a pace for Delhi’s Kushagra Rawat, the meet-record holder, and Advait Page, the national-record holder from Madhya Pradesh.

Nehra pulled away from Kushagra with a few laps left and won by a comfortable margin to claim the record with a personal best time of 15:29.76, though he finished just over 5 seconds outside the Asian Games qualifying standard.

Suvana C Baskar (Karnataka) posted a victory over Maana Patel (Gujarat) but needed a personal-best time of 29.63 seconds to secure the meet record. Ridhima Veerendrakumar, the Karnataka teenager who had made waves by beating Maana in the Nationals in Bengaluru in 2021, finished third.

Delhi’s Bhavya Sachdeva also won her third title in the competition by emerging on top in the women’s 800m, ahead of Telangana’s Vritti Aggarwal and Maharashtra’s Aanya Wala. Like Nehra in the men’s races, she swept the endurance events with victories in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m.

Sajan Prakash (Railways) clocked 1:59.37, his best time of the season in the men’s 200m Butterfly final. Without anyone on his shoulder, he had to generate and sustain a hot pace, but it was not enough for him to match the Asian Games qualifying time (1:58.75) on Tuesday. He had, however, booked his Asian Games berth when he clocked 1:58.31 in the Commonwealth Games last year.

The results (finals):


50m Freestyle: 1. Virdhawal Khade (Maharashtra) 22.82 seconds; 2. Mihir Ambre (Maharashtra)

22.96; 3. AS Anand (Services) 23.30.

1500m Freestyle: 1. Aryan Nehra (Gujarat) 15:29.76 (New Meet Record. Old: 15:38.13, Kushagra Rawat, Bengaluru, 2021); 2. Kushagra Rawat (Delhi) 15:45.62; 3. Advait Page (Madhya Pradesh) 16:07.27.

50m Backstroke: 1. PS Madhu (Services) 26.60 seconds; 2. Rohit Benedicton (Tamil Nadu) 26.77;

  1. Xavier Michae D’Souza (Goa) 26.80.

200m Butterfly: 1. Sajan Prakash (Police) 1:59.37; 2. Sanu Debnath (Railways) 2:04.62; 3. Harsh Saroha (Haryana) 2:05.60.


50m Freestyle: 1. Rujuta Khade (Maharashtra) 26.47 seconds (New Meet Record. Old: 26.61, Shikha Tandon, Kolkata, 2003); 2. Anannya Nayak (Maharashtra) 26.64; 3. Nina Venkatesh (Karnataka) 26.73.

800m Freestyle: 1. Bhavya Sachdeva (Delhi) 9:15.59; 2. Vritti Aggarwal (Telangana) 9:17.62; 3. Aanya Wala (Maharashtra) 9:24.67.

50m Backstroke: 1. Suvana C Baskar (Karnataka) 29.63 seconds (New Meet Record. Old: 29.79, Maana Patel, Guwahati, 2022); 2. Maana Patel (Gujarat) 29.71; 3. Ridhima Veerendrakumar (Karnataka) 30.53.

200m Butterfly: 1. Astha Choudhury (Railways) 2:22.63; 2. Shakti Balakrishnan (Tamil Nadu) 2:26.57; 3. Suhasini Ghosh (Karnataka) 2:26.94.

4x100m Medley Relay: 1. Maharashtra (Palak Joshi, Apeksha Fernandes, Anannya Nayak, Rujuta Khade) 4:23.65; 2. Karnataka 4:27.80; 3. Bengal 4:31.43.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *