Gujarat’s Manna Patel became the youngest swimmer to win a medal at the senior nationals. She captured the 50m backstroke bronze at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
The standard six student from Ahmedabad was drawn in lane five next to seasoned swimmer Jyotsana Pansare. She was placed second halfway through the race but the experienced Sony Cyriac of Kerala, who is 15 years elder to her, pipped her by 0.7 seconds to win the silver. Jyotsana went on to win the gold with a time of 31.60 seconds. Sony finished in 31.99 seconds while Maana clocked 32.06 seconds.
Tamil Nadu’s MB Balakrishnan set a new mark in the men’s 50m backstroke heats, with a time of 27.16 seconds, eclipsing the previous mark of 27.23 seconds set by Aaron D’Souza of Karnataka in the last edition of the event.
Maharashtra’s Virdhawal Khade’s domination in the pool continued as he set a national record in the 100 metres butterfly category. The Kolhapur swimmer, who trains in Bangalore, clocked 54.92 seconds, erasing Rehan Poncha’s record of 55.17 seconds clocked in the 2009 nationals. “I love swimming and I was sure that I would set a new mark,” said Khade after the race.