Srihari Natraj can still compete at the Olympics if no other Indian male swimmer qualifies for the Games.© Twitter
Star Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj came agonisingly close to achieving the elusive Olympic qualification time in the 100m men’s backstroke event before falling short of the mark at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy on Friday. The 20-year-old Bengaluru swimmer clocked 53.90 seconds bettering his own national record in the 100m men’s backstroke event. However, it was not enough to make the ‘A’ mark for the Tokyo Games set at 53.85 seconds. Another Indian swimmer, Advait Page also set a new national record, clocking 15:23.66 in the men’s 1500m freestyle at a qualification event in Los Angeles, USA.
The effort saw Page, who has already achieved a ‘B’ mark in 800m freestyle, make the ‘B’ cut in the 1500m freestyle event.
This was the last chance for Srihari to make the ‘A’ cut as the qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics ends on Sunday.
However, since Srihari has been nominated for the Universality places, he can still compete at the Olympics if no other Indian male swimmer qualifies for the Games or receives a FINA invite based on his or her Olympic Selection time (B time).
Sajan Prakash, who represented India in the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be action in Rome on Saturday. The 27-year-old is vying for the ‘A’ standard in the men’s 200m butterfly event.
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