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India crowned overall champions at the South Asian Aquatic Championship 2016

Indian swimmers sweep the board at South Asian Aquatic Championship winning a total of 216 medals.

Maana Patel
Maana Patel was part of the Indian side at the competition (Image courtesy: Jaipur Women Blog)

India won the overall championship at the South Asian Aquatic Championship 2016. The Indians claimed a total of 216 medals including 121 gold medals at the event which was held at the Colombo Ugathadasa Indoor Swimming Pool in Sri Lanka.

India’s impressive haul in the swimming competition came through 53 swimmers who participated in 191 events. The championship which concluded on Sunday, 23 October 2016, saw six nations from Asia, viz., India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka taking part in it. Among the SAARC countries, only Afghanistan and Bhutan had no representatives at the meet.

The host nation, Sri Lanka secured the second position behind India with a haul of 189 medals, a tally that was outmatched by the Indians. While India won 121 gold medals, 77 silver ones and 18 bronze medals to notch up a tally of 216, the Lankans won only 28 gold medals, 66 silver and 95 bronze ones. As many as 87 swimmers from Sri Lanka participated in 226 events but still failed to overcome the Indians’ haul.

Also read: Interview with Maana Patel: "I was on cloud nine when I broke the national record" 

Bangladesh secured the third position overall with a tally of 9 medals including two gold medals, two silver medals, and five bronze medals.

Mathew Abeysinghe, who represented Sri Lanka at the Rio Olympics earlier this year, claimed as many as five medals in the men’s individual events and one medal in the relays event.

Kimiko Raheem bagged an impressive five gold medals in the individual events and a further three in the relays. Mathew’s brother, Kyle Abeysinghe also tasted success as he won four individual gold medals and one silver medal.

Also read: Mihir Sen: The Indian swimmer who swam seven seas across five continents in one year   

Sanjay Calpakam Jayakrishnan adjudged as best swimmer in U15 category

India’s Sanjay Calpakam Jayakrishnan was the adjudged the best swimmer in the under-15 age group, where he won five gold medals. His medals came in the 100 metres freestyle, 200 metres freestyle, 400 metres freestyle, 800 metres freestyle and 1500 metres freestyle, an incredible feat for a teenager. Pratyasha Roy, from Odisha, clinched four gold medals and one silver medal.

The event which was hosted by the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) concluded on 23 October 2016. Pakistan came fourth in the overall tally with a total of only six medals which included one gold, three silver, and two bronze. Maldives, who failed to secure a single gold medal claimed the fifth spot with 17 medals.

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