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Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraja gets Olympic ticket

Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraja has secured ticket for Tokyo Olympics. He qualified for the Olympics after Srihari Nataraja was cleared of the ‘A’ standard qualifying time in the men’s 100m backstroke time trial by FINA, the International Olympic Committee-approved international federation for the conduct of international swimming competitions. In fact, 20-year-old Srihari completed the Olympic qualification time of 100m backstroke in Rome on Sunday and has been waiting for FINA’s approval since the performance.

The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) said in a tweet, Srihari Nataraj’s Olympic qualification time of 53.77 seconds in Sete Koli Trophy has been confirmed by FINA. The SFI had placed its representation in front of FINA for this. Srihari will join Sajan Prakash as India’s A qualifying entry in Tokyo.

Natraj’s qualification means India will field at least two swimmers at Tokyo 2020. This will be the first time that two Indian swimmers will compete in an Olympic Games after qualifying directly. Sajan Prakash became the first Indian to complete an Olympic qualification time when he completed the 200m butterfly event in 1.56.38 seconds in the Sete Koli Trophy last week. The standard qualifying time for this event was set at 1.56.48 s.

Notably, this will be Nataraja’s first Olympics, while Prakash, who represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be his second Olympic appearance. The 20-year-old, however, has previously represented India at the 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Games, besides the Youth Olympics in 2016.

Woman swimmer Mana Patel is also learned to be included in the Indian swimming contingent at Tokyo 2020 if India’s nomination under the universality quota is accepted by FINA. FINA is expected to release the list of eligible athletes, including the universality quota allocation, today.