Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj won his second Gold in 50m backstroke swimming and made a national record in Uzbekistan Open Championship. It took only 25 seconds for the 20-year-old Srihari to get the top prize in the Olympic qualifying event on April 17, 2020.
Indian swimmers got a total of 29 medals, which comprise 18 Gold, seven Silver and two Bronze in the event. This was Srihari’s third national record in the last two days as he had made a new record twice in 100m backstroke.
Srihari achieved the ‘B’ standard time for Tokyo Olympics in the 100 m backstroke. His personal best score was 54.10 seconds, but he later improved it to 54.07 seconds in the final match to win a Gold. He missed the Olympic ‘A’ mark by just 0.22 seconds.
There was another Olympic aspirant named Sajan Prakash who also impressed everyone present at the event by winning a Gold medal in all the four categories he participated in. On the final day, Prakash, who is recovering from shoulder injury, finished in 53.69 seconds in the 100m butterfly to top the table.
Maana Patel and Suvana Bhasker, two Indian women swimmers, had won gold and silver medals respectively in the 50m backstroke event with the best score of 30.28 seconds. Apart from Srihari and Sajan, the only male swimmers from the country to participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics fell short of the Olympic ‘A’ mark for the Tokyo games.
Sajan, who took part in the 200m butterfly on Tuesday, completed his lap in 1 min 57s, and missed the Olympic ‘A’ cut, which was set at 1m56s. A ‘B’ mark Olympic means that the swimmer might get an invitation for the event, if the places are not filled up. On the other hand, a ‘A’ mark means an automatic position for the Tokyo Olympics.
Other than Sajan and Srihari, there are other Indian swimmers who received the Olympic ‘B’ mark for Tokyo Olympics. These are Virdhawal Khade, Kushagra Rawat, Aryan Makhija and Advait Page. None of the Indian swimmers have received the Olympic ‘A’ mark for the Tokyo Olympics.