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Monday, July 4, 2011

Rayna Saldanha, Saumya Vora shine for Maharashtra

Rayna Saldanha and Saumya Vora from Mumbai helped the Maharashtra swimming team to bag the overall Championship with 360 points at the sub-junior nationals aquatic championshipsthat concluded on Thursday at Laxman Singh Taran Pushkar swimming pool in Indore.

Nine-year-old Saldanha won the girls’ group IV (under-10) championship with 29 points, while Vora finished on top of boys’ group III (under-12) with 23 points.

Both Saldanha and Vora are trained by Smita Divgikar who considered their feats commendable. “Rayna is just nine, according to the regulations 10-year-olds are allowed to participated in Group VI, so she was younger than most of the girls in the competition. Saumya is 12 but faced taller boys, who could have been overage. In Maharashtra, the boys are tested at the KEM and Sion hospitals but many states do not do that,” she said.

Saldanha, a student of Billabong High School, trains at the Otters Club in Bandra. She won medals in seven of the eight categories with five golds and two bronze. She won gold medals in 50 meters butterfly, 100 meters free, 200 IM, 4x50 free and medley relays events, and bronze in 50 meters back stroke and 50 meters freestyle events.

Vora, from Gopi Birla Memorial High School, trains at the NSCI. He bagged gold medals in the 50, 100 and 200 meters free style events and helped his teammates clinch the silver medals in 4x50 free style relay and 4x50 medley relay.

Other medalists from Mumbai: Aryan Makhija - 2silver; Ishaan Jaffer - 1 silver; Muskaan Tolani -1 gold, 2 silver; 1 bronze; Neel Roy - 1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze; Neha Prasad - 1 bronze; Prashant Gokhle - 1 silver;1Bronze and Teesta Rawal -1 silver.

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