Olympian Srihari Nataraj Wins 3 Gold Medals, Jain University Dominates in Pool

Olympian swimmer Srihari Nataraj won three gold medals on Thursday as Jain University topped the pool winning as many as 14 yellow metals in the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) underway here.

Nataraj, representing Jain University, won the 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 4x200m freestyle relay, setting new KIUG records in all events.

Nataraj won the 100m freestyle in 50.98 seconds, surpassing the 53.01s set by Rudransh Mishra in the 2020 edition. Silver and bronze were bagged respectively by Heer Shah (University of Mumbai) 52.78 s and Adhithya Dinesh (Anna University) 52.79s.

In the 50 backstroke, Nataraj clocked 26.10. Silver and bronze went to Siva Sridhar (Jain University) in 27.10s and Siddhant Sejwal (Panjab University) in 27.69s.

Nataraj then teamed up with Sanjay Jayakrishnan, Siva Sridhar and Raj Relekar to clinch the 4x200m freestyle relay for Jain University with a new record of 8:06.87s. Savitribai Phule Pune University won the silver medal in 8:22.17 while Mumbai University took the bronze medal in 8:28.57.

The 100m backstroke was won by Anna University’s Danush Suresh (1:03.36s) while silver and bronze went to Mumbai University’s Jay Ekbote (1:06.33s) and Kritayush Singh of Adamas University (1:07.16s).

Jain University’s Siva Sridhar was the undisputed star of the pool, having won seven gold and two silver medals.

In archery, there was a deluge of upheaval on opening day. First to fall was Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya’s Muskan Kirar in the compound women’s singles. Kirar had dominated the qualifying round but failed to start, falling in the final qualifier Sneh Rani of Guru Nanak Dev University 135-139. Rani was knocked out in the next round by Sujata of Punjabi University.

Last year’s silver medalist Raginee Markoo progressed steadily only to fall in the semifinals herself. Kirar’s teammate, Markoo lost to Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University’s Madhura Dhamangaonkar 140-146.

The upset also continued in the men’s compound event as Punjabi University’s number one seed Kulwinder Singh lost to Shivaji University’s Kunal Shinde 141-143 in the first round.

A total of 25 boxing medals (12 women, 13 men) were decided on Thursday.

In the women’s competition, 26 different universities won a medal, and 11 different universities won gold in all 12 weight classes.

Five of the 11 are from Haryana. The men’s event was no different with 11 universities splitting the 13 categories (Lovely Professional University won three gold medals).

There will be 10 medals up for grabs on day six of the KIUG, six in judo and four in shooting.

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Naomi C. Amerson