Backstroker swimmer Srihari Nataraj’s participation in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics has been confirmed by the world governing body for aquatics FINA. Srihari will be the second Indian swimmer at the upcoming Olympic Games, accompanying Sajan Prakash as India’s A qualification entry to Tokyo.

The 20-year-old backstroker swimmer achieved the 100m backstroke Olympic Qualification Time (OQT) in Rome but had to wait for FINA’s nod since the performance came during an out-of-competition race.

With this qualification, India’s hopes stay alive for winning medals on the road to Tokyo. Regards to the qualification of Srihari Nataraj, the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) tweeted, “Srihari Nataraj’s Olympic qualification time of 53.77 (seconds) swam in the time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy is affirmed by FINA. SFI had put forward its representation to FINA for this. Srihari joins Sajan Prakash as India’s A qualification entry to Tokyo.”

The confirmation states that India will field at least two swimmers at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics. Last week Sajan Prakash became the first Indian ever to achieve the OQT when he clocked 1:56.38 seconds in the 200m butterfly at the Sette Colli Trophy. The qualification standard for the event was set at 1:56.48 seconds.

However, with regards to the Indian swimming contingent for Tokyo, Maana Patel can also feature, if India’s nomination under the universality quota is accepted by FINA.

The world governing body is expected to release a list of qualified athletes, including universality quota allocations, in the days to come.


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