Swimming Nationals 2023 | Rujuta Khade steals the show, breaks 20 year old national record



In the women’s 50m freestyle event, Rujuta outperformed her fellow swimmer Anannya Nayak from Maharashtra, who finished with a time of 26.64 seconds, and won the gold medal. Nina Venkatesh from Karnataka secured the bronze medal with a time of 26.73 seconds. Rujuta surpassed the previous national record of 26.61 seconds held by Shikha Tandon since 2003.

The fastest event at the competition, the men’s 50m freestyle, was won by Rujuta’s husband, Virdhawal Khade, who had previously won a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games. Although Virdhawal’s time of 22.82 seconds was not his personal best, he managed to defeat Mihir Ambre (22.96) and AS Anand (23.30), who won the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

While continuing to break records, Aryan Nehra also participated in the men’s 1500m freestyle event. Aryan finished with a time of 15:29.76, displaying his dominance. The second-place finisher, Kushagra Rawat from Delhi, who held the national record, finished nearly 15 seconds later. Advait Page, the current record holder with a time of 15:23.66, finished with a time of 16:07.27.

Achieving a time at the Nationals, also known as the National Aquatic Championships, is considered a national record in swimming. Hence, the times recorded at other meets are referred to as the “Best Indian time.”

Within a few days, Aryan set three national records, including the 400m and 800m freestyle events. Sajan Prakash, a 29-year-old competitor representing the All India Police Sports Control Board, also made a comeback by winning the gold medal in the men’s 200m butterfly with a time of 1:59.37.

In the women’s 50m backstroke event, Suvana C. Bhaskar from Karnataka secured the gold medal with a time of 29.63 seconds. Suvana not only defeated Maana Patel, who finished second, but also broke Maana’s previous record.

In the women’s 4x100m medley relay, the Maharashtra team consisting of Rujuta, Palak Joshi, Apeksha Fernandes, and Anannya emerged victorious against teams from Bengal and Karnataka, securing the first-place position.

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