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Open Sprint National: Salman, Mrunmayee fastest; Services men, Orissa women champions

Pune, Feb 26 (IANS) Future stars in the form of Salman Khan (Army) and Mrunmayee Salgaokar (Maharashtra) were born as both emerged fastest rowers after bagging the Singles Sculls event in the men’s and women’s sections respectively, while Services (men) and Orissa (women) topped honors in the 24th Open Sprint National at the Army Rowing Node, CME, on Sunday.

Both, Salman and Mrunmayee recorded maiden individual bests by winning the Sprint title (raced over 500 meters) for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) with four top places proved a force to reckon with for the second time over week.

On the concluding day, Haryana-born Salman fought off an equally powerful performance by 2018 Rio Olympian and vastly experienced Dattu Bhokanal by .5 seconds in near photo-finish. Arvind Singh (Services) finished a disappointing fourth.

For Salman, who clocked 1 minute 32.3 seconds, it was the second successive day that he fought off the challenge from Olympians beginning with Arvind Singh in the semifinals. Dattu, a 2014 champion here at the ARN, but as a Services rower, clocked 1:32.8 for his second-place finish, which by far was a little over a second below than the 1:31.7s he managed on Friday.

In Maharashtra’s point of view, Dattu’s second-place finish was after a seven-year wait when Santosh Kadale won silver at Hyderabad.

The women’s final won by Mrunmayee (1:53.5s) was comparatively easy as against Shewta Bramachari’s effort of 1:55.0s.

Hailing from Nashik and training at the ARN, the Sprint gold meant finishing with the unique distinction of bagging a double in the Single Sculls event. Earlier, Mrunmayee bagged the top-spot in the 40th Senior National Championship (raced over 2000m).

Adding to Maharashtra’s tally was the silver from Men’s Coxless Pair of Tejas Shinde, Omkar Mhaske (1:26.0s).

In the men’s section, Services were led by Double Scullers (M2X) Shagandeep Singh and Parminder Singh (1:26.4s). The gold made it a grand double after the pair bagged the 2000m title as well.

The other titles Services pocketed were; the Coxless Pairs (M2-) wherein Punit Kumar, Ashish (1:25.7s) bagged glory, the Light Weight Double Sculls (LM2X) with Arjun Lal Jat, Ajay Tyagi (1:27.0s) and the Para Single Sculls (PR3M1X) with K Narayana (1:43.6) defending his title.

Orissa eves with three titles dominated their section. Gold-medal runs by Ansika Bharti-Reshma Minz (1:45.4s) in Light Weight Double Sculls (LW2X), Sonali Swain-Ritu Kaudi (1:48.2s) in the Coxless Pairs (W2-) and the Coxless Fours (W4-) involving Reichael Lakra, Sonalika Das, Deepika Zess, Jharana Hasti (1:39.9s) were highpoints on the final day.



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