Srihari Nataraj qualifies for Tokyo Olympics after FINA approves QT
(Sourced from PTI)
Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj officially booked himself a Tokyo Olympics berth on Wednesday after FINA, sports world governing body, approved his "A" standard qualification time in men's 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. His feat on Sunday was also a new national record and was enough to achieve the "A" mark for the Olympics set at 53.85 seconds.
In time trials, swimmers get a chance to better their timing, without competing against each other. Srihari was allowed a time trial by the organizers on the last day of the Olympic qualification. The time needed to be approved by FINA. Tokyo Olympics will mark the first time when two Indian swimmers will take part in the Summer Games after achieving a direct qualification.
Sajan Prakash had scripted history by becoming the first-ever Indian swimmer to breach the Olympic "A" standard in the men's 200m butterfly in the same event. The 27-year-old bettered 2010 Asian Games bronze medalist Virdhawal Khade's previous mark of 1:49.86 seconds.
"Srihari Nataraj 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 Swimming Federation of India tweeted. It will be Srihari's maiden Olympics participation, whereas Sajan had also participated in Rio Olympics.