Aquatics meet: Finale

The last day of the aquatics meet started with Siraj Modiwala of KGP and Anil Rulaniya of Kanpur shooting off to a thunderous start in the 200 meter men’s backstroke, but Siraj shrugged off the competition in the 3rd lap to claim gold while Anil bagged silver and Gtanshu Bhatia of KGP won the bronze.

Bombay and Madras continued their brilliant run with Ashish Kanhere from Bombay and Anuj Sindagi from Madras claiming first and second spots respectively in the 50 meter men’s backstroke, while Indresh from KGP finished third.

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Delhi wasn’t to be left far behind with Bhakti Agrawal, competing in the 100 meter women’s freestyle, just managing to put a second between herself and Kamala Devi from Madras to win the gold. Bombay girl Kavya Kumar won bronze.

Yesterday’s star performer, Anand Krishnan from Madras cruised home to win the gold in the 100 meter men’s freestyle, while Dhritiraj Das from Delhi and Samarth Bhagawat from Bombay came in at 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The last of the scheduled swimming events,the 4×100 meter medley relay, turned out to be an absolute cracker. The starters of Madras propelled them to a massive lead which they managed to hold out for 6 laps only to lose it to Bombay in the 7th. Bombay were themselves involved in a close contest with the team from KGP in the first few laps but managed to relegate them to third position.Delhi made a late surge to finally overtake KGP, which earned them the third position. Not content with just a win, Bombay pushed themselves even harder to clock 5:02:28, shattering the previous meet record by one and a half seconds.

The pre-final aroma was in the air as Bombay took on Madras in the 3rd place playoff. Could Madras trump Bombay like they had in the pool stage? It seemed that way, as they raced to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. But it was once again Bombay’s strict defence that played the part. They did not concede any goal in the second and fourth quarter; building pressure that helped them score. By the time the match was over, the scoreboard read 10-5 in their favour. Abhishek Shinde scored 7, Ashwin netted 2 and Arijit put one way. The Madras breakdown continued as Bombay took home the water polo bronze.

And finally, perhaps the most eagerly awaited event of the meet – the water polo finals between Kharagpur and Kanpur. An impressive turnout by the campus junta ensured an almost electric atmosphere. The first quarter was characterised by a frequent exchange of shots between the two teams, which gradually increased in their accuracy and aggression. Kharagpur managed to find the net twice in this quarter, while Kanpur’s chart remained unopened, though not for a lack of trying.

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Kanpur then opened the second quarter with an immediate goal. Neither side turned down the heat, and both managed to score two goals apiece after a ferocious exchange of shots.

The third quarter was where Kharagpur truly began to up the ante. A tight formation ensured that Kanpur was unable to pierce their defence, with most of their shots either going wide or being blocked. Notable also was Arshil Abbas’s goalkeeping for Kanpur, which kept the aggressors at bay with great effectiveness.

The terse last quarter saw both teams score three goals apiece. Kanpur finally began to match the aggressiveness of their opponents, but it was a little too late. The match ended at 9-6 in favour of Kharagpur, nail-biting to the last minute. KGP lads, Aman Kharb, Pradeep Grewal and Abhishek Dhahiya score two each while Siraj Modiwala managed to evaded Arshil thrice. For Kanpur, Raghav, Vihang and Vasu found the back of the KGP net twice each. Overall, Kharagpur’s aggressiveness and tight coordination managed to win them a well-deserved gold.

Madras took home the Swimming trophy in both the men and women categories with Bombay and Delhi coming in at second and third in the men’s category. Delhi and KGP girls secured the second and third podium finishes in swimming.

The Vox team consisting of Shashank Gupta, Akash Bhardwaj, Mayank Sharma, Nirmal Kumar, Trishank Baghel, Sagnik Bhattacharya, Sirsendu Sarkar, Mayank Chauhan, Soumyadeep Datta, Pratyush Garg, Siraj Sandhu, Sanket Anand, Krutika Sahare and Rahul Kumar worked tirelessly to cover the four days of the Aquatics meet.