Bhubaneswar: The 39th Sub Junior and 49th Junior National Aquatic Championships 2023 kicked off in Bhubaneswar, Odisha with a splash of remarkable achievements. The newly inaugurated Indoor Aquatic Centre at the Kalinga Sports Complex provided an international backdrop for the exhilarating races on the opening day.
Assam’s Jananjoy J Hazarika set the pace by smashing the national record in the 100m butterfly for group I boys with a swift time of 55.99. Karnataka’s Kartikeyan Nair secured the second spot with a time of 56.66. Earlier in the day, Hazarika had already set a new record in the preliminaries, surpassing Maharashtra’s Mihir Ambre’s previous record of 55.65 seconds set in 2017.
The Karnataka girls showcased their dominance as Manavi Varma secured a gold medal in the 200m IM for group I, clocking 2:22.86. Raghvi Ramanujam of Maharashtra clinched the silver with a time of 2:30.56. Tanishi Gupta added to Karnataka’s success by not only winning the 200m IM in group II but also setting a new national record with a time of 2:24.83. This feat erased her state-mate Manavi Varma’s previous record of 2:26.99 set in 2022. Karnataka’s Naisha secured the silver with a time of 2:29.84.
The day’s third national record was achieved by Vidith S Shankar of Karnataka in the 50m breaststroke for group I boys, clocking 29.40. This effort surpassed his own record of 29.47 set earlier in the preliminaries. The previous record of 29.59 was held by Haryana’s Vansh Pannu from 2022.
R Vineel Krishna, Secretary-cum-Commissioner of Sports and Youth Services, Odisha, declared the meet open during the evening session. He highlighted the collaborative efforts between Odisha and the Swimming Federation of India to enhance the state’s swimming ecosystem. The newly constructed Aquatic Centre aims to provide emerging talents with top-notch exposure and facilities.
“We are working in close partnership with Swimming Federation of India and we are taking their help in developing our own swimming eco system in Odisha. We have constructed this new Aquatic Centre which is one of a kind in the country,” he said.
Monal Chokshi, Secretary General of SFI, commended the Odisha State Government’s dedication in creating the world-class Aquatic Centre. The modern facility offers swimmers a fantastic opportunity to compete and showcase their skills on a grand stage.