National Games 2023: Virdhawal and Rujuta Khade Make Waves with Double Gold in 50m Freestyle!

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Virdhawal and Rujuta Khade of Maharashtra shattered Games records on their route to being named the fastest swimmers in the current 2023 National Games in Goa.

Virdhawal, a bronze medalist at the 2010 Asian Games, edged off Karnataka’s Srihari Nataraj for gold in the men’s 50m freestyle with a time of 22.82s. Nataraj won silver in 22.91 seconds, while Mihir Ambre of Maharashtra won bronze in 22.99 seconds.

Rujuta made it a double celebration for the family in the final event of the day, breaking the Games record to win the 50m women’s freestyle gold in 26.42s. Assam’s Shivangi Sharma (26.80s) and West Bengal’s Janhvi Choudhary (26.89s) won silver and bronze, respectively.

“It’s incredibly meaningful to both of us. We’ve won this tournament together since 2019, yet each time seems just as wonderful as the first. “Winning the medal feels great today, but setting the National Games record together makes it even more special for the both of us,” Rujuta said after the run.

Maharashtra’s supremacy in the Games continued, with the state winning 123 medals in total, including 52 gold, 35 silver, and 36 bronze. Services, with 19 gold medals, surpassed Haryana in the medal total by collecting one gold medal more than Haryana, which finished the day with 18 gold medals.

After the end of the 4x100m women’s relay, the athletics competitions were postponed owing to severe rain. Jyoti Yarraji, an Asian Games medalist, led Andhra Pradesh to gold, ahead of Kerala and Karnataka, who took silver and bronze, respectively.

Featured Image: The Bridge

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