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Three more silvers for India in swimming

India bagged three more silvers and a bronze in aquatics as gold medal continues to elude the home swimmers.

othersports Updated: Oct 28, 2003 21:11 IST

India bagged three more silvers and a bronze in aquatics as gold medal continues to elude the home swimmers in the Afro-Asian Games here on Tuesday.

India started the day on a great note with Mandar Divse finishing second in the first race of the day (1500m freestyle) but they failed to make the most of the depleted field in the 4x100 relay events where they could win only a bronze (men) and a silver (women).

Nisha Millet drew applauds for winning the 400m silver, recovering from a hopeless position, ahead of crowd favourite one-legged South African swimmer Natalie Dutoit, who claimed the bronze medal.

Today's performance highlighted the standard of the swimmers in the fray as not a single new world record or even continental record was set in all the six events.

Amongst the Indians swimmers only two - 15-yeard old V Sivaranjani and Gairik Bardhan - failed to return with a medal. They put up a highly disappointing performance to finish sixth in the 200m events for women and men respectively.

Today's medals take India's haul from the pool to 15 with seven silver and eight bronze. Japan, who got two yellow metals in swimming today, continued to dominate the table with 10 medals including seven golds and two silvers.

Nisha Millet showed her fighting spirit when she recovered after a poor start in the nick of time to push Natalie behind for a silver medal finish.

She was placed in the seventh position in a field of eight after the first 50 metres, but showing great character overtook other swimmers to be placed in the third place when the fight for the last 50m begun.

With crowds cheering her up, Millet had a neck to neck contest with Natalie before surging ahead of her South African rival with just 10 metres to go.

Millet clocked 4min 31.33 seconds against Natalie's 4:32.53.

Hua Chen of China stamped her authority in the race by winning the gold medal in 4:25.90.

Mandar Divse started the silver hunt when he timed 16:49.75 for his second place finish behind Charlton Lee of South Africa (16:43.83).

Though both the relay teams bagged medals, they failed to impress with a lacklustre performance.

The men's 4x100m freestyle team comprising Deepak Singh, N A Krishna, Parikshit Shetty and Sujith could get a bronze only due to a poor start.

Amongst the quartet only Sujith came up with an valiant attempt giving some anxious moments to the second placed Chinese opponent in the last 100m but he failed to undo the damage done by some ordinary display by the first three swimmers.

The Indian team's bronze medal came with a timing of 3:45.42.

The gold in the event went to Algeria (3:30.45) and China took the silver (3:44.82).

The famed duo of Shikha Tandon and Richa Mishra were part of the women's 4x100m medley quartet which failed to win the first gold medal in the pool for India.

The team, also comprising D Mridula and Reshma Millet, finished more than 12 second behind the South Africans, who claimed the gold.

India finished in 4:24.58 while the third-team in the fray, Philipines, took the bronze with 4:48.13.

Japan dominated the 200m breat strokes events with Hiroka Sakamota (2:33.50) claiming the gold in the men's category while Genki Imamura (2:17.04) topped in the women's section.

First Published: Oct 28, 2003 21:11 IST