CHENNAI: Despite Tamil Nadu getting off to a bright start at the 34th Glenmark Sub-Junior National Aquatic Championships in Pune, there was some confusion regarding the identity of their lone gold medal winner. Swimmers won one gold and four bronze on Day 1.
Shakthi Balakrishnan, a swimmer who lives in Dubai but hails from Tamil Nadu, took to the pool during the heats, and there was bewilderment among the state’s contingent as to who she was. Shakthi had not taken part in the state’s selection trials. Things got more interesting when she ended up winning two medals — gold and bronze — and they were credited to Tamil Nadu.
The puzzle was finally solved later in the evening when it was revealed that she was taking part under special consideration from the Swimming Federation of India.
“Yes, we gave her special permission to take part in the meet as she had the necessary documents and we wanted to make sure we didn’t deny a good swimmer the opportunity to show her talent just because she didn’t reside in the state,” an SFI source told Express.
“This was part of our resolution taken last year where we directed states to consider such cases.” SFI treated this as a special case only for this year.
Tamil Nadu State Aquatic Association secretary D Jayaraman verified the same. “The TNSAA was told a couple days before the event that Shakthi was going to be a part of the event. And we didn’t have enough time to inform our contingent in Pune about that. This is part of a resolution taken by SFI,” he said.
No one was denied a place in the Tamil Nadu squad as a result of Shakthi’s inclusion.
Tamil Nadu medal winners: Gold: Shakthi Balakrishnan (girls 200m freestyle). Bronze: Krishna Pranav S (boys 200m freestyle), Shakthi (100m butterfly), Haasini Prabhakar (girls 50m freestyle), Jashua Thomas (boys, 50m breaststroke).
Three share lead
A draw in the top board allowed Vikramjit Singh to secure 6.5 points and share the lead with Joy Lazar and AL Muthaiah at the end of the seventh round of the St Joseph’s 7th International FIDE rating chess tournament, which is being held at St Joseph’s Institute of Technology, Chennai.
Results: Joy Lazar 6.5 drew with Muthaiah AL 6.5; S Vikramjit 6.5 bt Vignesh B 5.5; Roshan S 5.5 lost to Ram Krishnan 6; Karthik Venkataraman 6 bt Jayachandra Vellanki 5; Manu Suthandram 5.5 drew with Bipin Raj 5.5; Sibi Visal 5 lost to Vaisnav 6; Anilkumar 5.5 drew with Basak Bishal 5.5; Selvamurugan 6 bt Vigneshwaran 5; Godson Merlin 5 lost to Bala Kannamma 6; Gowtham 5 lost to Hemanth Raam 6.
Venketrama remains prez
PR Venketrama Raja was unanimously re-elected as president of the All India Chess Federation for the 2017-2020 term during the annual general body meeting held at Chennai on Sunday.
Other office bearers: Hon secretary: Bharat Singh Chauhan (Delhi).
Treasurer: Kishor Bandekar (Goa).
Vice-presidents: DV Sundar, A Bhakthavatchalam, Narasimha Reddy, Sekhar Sahu, G Bhasker, Manoj Itkelwar.
Joint secretaries: R Hanumantha, Kapil Saxena, Atanu Lahiri, Th B Singh, Naresh Sharma, Bhavesh Patel.