Para-swimmer Mukundan granted bi-partite quota for Tokyo Paralympics
New Delhi, Aug 3 (Olympics news) Para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan has been granted a bi-partite quota for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics, the national governing body said on Tuesday.
The International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) decision to offer a quota place to Mukundan would mean that India will have two para swimmers in its 54-member contingent, the largest ever.
Suyash Narayan Jadhav has earlier qualified for the Paralympic Games to be held from August 24 to September 5.
This is also the first time after the Heidelberg 1972 Paralympics that India will participate in para swimming events. Murlikant Petkar had clinched the country’s first ever gold with a world record timing in the 50m freestyle in the 1972 Games.
Jadhav, the 27-year-old from Maharashtra, had booked his berth during the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta. He will be competing in the 50m butterfly of S7 category and the 200m individual medley of SM7 category in Tokyo.
Also read: Tokyo refuses to allot additional slot for Paralympian shooter, SC informed
Mukundan, the 26-year-old from Bengaluru, has also made the cut in S7 category where he will be in action in men's 50m butterfly event.
The eight medals at the 2014 IWAS World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville, UK, has been the highlight of Mukundan's career. The former junior world champion also holds a master's degree in sports management.
"This is the first time after the 1972 Games that India will have para swimmers competing. This is a proud moment for us as we look to record the best ever show at the Paralympics," Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president Deepa Malik said in a release.
News source: PTI
Indian swimming competition ends as Sajan exits in 100m Butterfly
(Swimming news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: Sajan Prakash finished second in heat 2 of the 100m Butterfly event with a timing of 53.45 in the Tokyo Olympics. Even though the timing was impressive, he couldn't make it to the top 16 as he finished 46th overall.
Also read: Mary Kom crashes out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing 3-2 to Ingrit Valencia
With this note India has ended its campaign in swimming as the three swimmers couldn’t make it to the next round. swimming was the last event of the day for the Indians on day 7.
Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash fails to qualify for semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics
(Swimming news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: Sajan Prakash finished fourth in the Men’s 200 metre butterfly stroke event with a timing of 1.57.22. With this result, Prakash finished 24th overall and failed to qualify for the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics as only the top 16 move forward after all the heats are done.
T. Hvas from Norway finished first with a timing of 1:56:30, Z. W. Quah from Singapore finished second with a timing of 1:56:42 and B. Hyland from Ireland finished third with a timing of 1:57.09 followed by Sajan Prakash from India.
Maana and Nataraj come up short in heats at Tokyo
(Swimming news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: The last event for India today witnessed two young swimmers in the Men’s and Women’s field in the Tokyo Olympics . Both of them made their debut here, Maana Patel came second in the Women's 100m backstroke Heat 1 with a timing of 1:05.20 but wasn't good enough to finish in the top 16 timings to clinch a spot in the semifinals. She finished 39th overall.
Also read: Australia beats India 7-1 in Men's hockey at Tokyo
Srihari Nataraj finished 5th in Men's 100m backstroke Heat 3 with a timing of 54.31s which wasn't enough to find a spot in the top 16 and finished 27th overall. He qualified through “A” standards to get into Tokyo, both of them are in their early twenties and have plenty of time to prepare to get on top of the podium.
Court of Arbitration for Sport rejects Uzbek appeal against FINA invalidation of Olympic qualifying event
New Delhi, Jul 12 (Olympics news) The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has turned down the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation's appeal against world body FINA's decision to invalidate results of an Olympic qualifying event after Indian swimmer Likith Selvaraj complained of manipulation in the event.
The global body for water sports issued a statement to say that the appeal has been rejected by CAS.
"FINA acknowledges the award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejecting the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation's appeal against the FINA Executive's decision not to recognise certain results from the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Cup, held between 24-29 November 2020 and the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championships, held between 13-17 April 2021," FINA stated.
Also read: Swimmer Elvis Hazarika to attempt crossing North Irish and English channels
The FINA Executive's decision was made after receiving "evidence establishing that certain results from these two events had been manipulated by the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation in an attempt to qualify Uzbek swimmers for the Tokyo Olympic Games." The FINA said that its Ethics Panel will now investigate whether further sanctions should be imposed on the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation and any other implicated party.
In a video uploaded on YouTube in April, Indian swimmer Selvaraj had alleged that the timings were "manipulated" to ensure qualification of Uzbek swimmers from the April 13-17 event in Tashkent.
He had alleged that organisers of the tournament even tried to bribe him when he protested.
FINA applauded the whistleblowers in both the cases.
"Any attempt to manipulate results will be punished according to the relevant FINA rules. Put simply, FINA will not stand for any forms of cheating or event manipulation," the body stated.
"FINA would also like to thank the whistleblowers for their courage in reporting this nefarious behaviour," it added.
News source: PTI
Swimmer Elvis Hazarika to attempt crossing North Irish and English channels
Guwahati, Jul 10 (Swimming sport news) Ace swimmer Elvis Ali Hazarika on Saturday announced that he will make an attempt to cross the North Irish Channel next year and the English Channel in 2023 with his partner Rimo Saha.
The swimmer from Assam will strive to cross the North Irish Channel with his Bengali partner in September 2022. Their endeavour to cross the English Channel will begin in 2023.
"My relay partner Rimo Saha and I are going to attempt to cross the North Irish Channel in September next year," Hazarika said at a press conference here.
The duo has been allotted dates between September 17 to 22 and they will be swimming a distance of 42 kms in a duration of 12-16 hours.
Donaghadi in northern Ireland will be the starting point and Portaptrick of Scotland, the finishing point.
"The next year (2023), we plan to cross the English Channel in the month of March," the former international swimmer, who is currently a Channel swimmer, said.
Also read: India’s 50m butterfly record holder Divya Satija is setting her sights on the Asian Games
The English Channel swim will be over a distance of 36 kms in 12-14 hours, with the starting point at Samphire Hoe Beach in the United Kingdom and France’s Calais as the finishing point.
It will be Hazarika's second attempt to cross the English Channel after he had fallen short by about last 10 kms in his first attempt in 2018.
Saha has earlier successfully crossed the English Channel.
"We will dedicate both the swims to the COVID-19 heroes, who have fought the virus to save lives and protect millions,” Hazarika added.
The swimmer from Assam and his partner from West Bengal are being coached by Tapan Panigrahi of Pune and both the swims will be attempted under the banner of Assam Swimming Association.
On the expenses for the two swims, Hazarika said, "We will need about Rs 10-12 lakh in total for both the swims. We have already deposited Rs 2-3 lakh." "Once the COVID-19 situation improves a bit, we shall be looking for sponsorships," he added.
Hazarika had become the first swimmer from Assam to cross the Catalina Channel in the US in 2019.
News source: PTI
India’s 50m butterfly record holder Divya Satija is setting her sights on the Asian Games
Often viewed as a recreational or a luxurious pass time, swimming is a seriously underrated sport in India. While the country is brimming with talented swimmers, their stories of glory and accomplishments are rarely featured in the sports news or are usually overshadowed by the latest cricketing gossip. However, Indian swimmers continue to impress on the global stage and let their achievements do the talking with relentless hard work, dedication and persistence.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Indian swimmer Divya Satija speaks about her journey so far, becoming the national record holder of women’s 50m butterfly, her influences, overcoming challenges, future goals and more!
Q 1) When were you first introduced to swimming and what motivated you to take up the sport professionally?
I started swimming when I was 10 or 11 years old. My dad used to swim recreationally when we were on vacations and I would observe and wonder what swimming was like, the feeling of the water and so on. There was a swimming pool in my school and that introduced me to the sport and because I was already familiar with what swimming was about, getting into the water was easy. I was a little better than others because I had an idea of what swimming is because of my observations and I was invited to join the elite batch by my coach. The kids in that batch were already swimming quite well and in a year, I became the fastest swimmer in the district. After that I competed in the state and national level competitions and that’s how I started.
Q 2) As the national record holder of the women’s 50m butterfly and winner of a number of accolades internationally, what is your proudest achievement so far?
My only aim was to represent India and for many years I was working very hard to make that happen. My first International was at the Asian Age Group Championship in 2019 where I won my first individual bronze medal. However, the thought kept playing in my head that I had not won a gold medal at the International level, and when you do, the national anthem is played and the flag is hoisted and I wanted to experience that. In the South Asian Games in December 2019, I won four gold medals and that was my best achievement because I also heard the national anthem after my victory.
Q 3) Who are some of the most influential people in your journey as a swimmer so far and why?
I’m a person who gets easily inspired by people who cross my path. When I started swimming in 2006-2007, there was a girl named Richa Mishra who was a star swimmer and I always admired her because she used to win gold in every event. After that, when I started training with international medallists, I learnt small things from different players. Everybody would give me small tips and I would add it to my swimming ability, swimmers in India such as Sandeep Sejwal and Virdhawal Khade have always motivated me and internationally, Sarah Sjöström has inspired me and I want to be like her. She is the world record holder of the women's 100m butterfly.
Q 4) How has the experience of training under Dronacharya winner Nihar Ameen been at the Dravid-Padukone centre of excellence in Bangalore?
Since I've been swimming at my school, there have been different experiences with different coaches. Being at PDCSE at the top in athletics, the training and the culture over there is totally different. There are players who have already represented India who are working hard to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. The environment pushes you to work hard, you can't back out, that's what the environment is like. They take care of everything, we have physios available and we have the big sized pool which is the only FINA approved pool in India. They have a bunch of other facilities available there as well for strength and conditioning. All the different coaches are working with you according to your performance.
Q 5) What are some of the challenges that you faced in your journey as a professional swimmer? How did you overcome them?
If I compare my past and my future, what all changes I've made to achieve all that I currently have, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is anxiety. To deal with that, I have worked with psychologists that Simply Sports provided me with. We also face challenges with nutrition. “You are what you eat”. So all these things need to be taken care of. The challenges always keep on coming, you have to handle the smaller things and learn from them. I can't even call them challenges because I have overcome them and it's all a part of life and they have helped me.
Q 6) What are your goals and aspirations for the future? How do you plan to achieve them?
Currently my goal is to win a medal at the Asian Games. To achieve that I have been working on every small detail that I can do to improve myself. If I aim at 50 meter butterfly, I have to get a perfect start. I need strength in my legs so I can push myself to a better start for the best outcome. I need to work on my underwater kick so I have to take small steps to get there. In the dolphin, we have underwater recordings to notice the smallest errors and change them and implement it in practice. We have coaches who came from outside the country at the national camp who made recordings, did the power test and analysis with the coach. We sit together, study the videos, work on the minute things and work towards changing those. I work on my strength and power because that's what I need in 50 meters.
If you wish to support Divya in any of the areas to see her excel, then please reach out to Simply Sport https://www.simplysport.in/donate.
You can write mail to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swimming Federation of India nominates Sajan Prakash for Arjuna, Kamlesh Nanavati for Dhyan Chand
New Delhi, Jul 3 (Sports news) Sajan Prakash, first-ever Indian swimmer to achieve a direct qualification for the Olympics, has been recommended for the coveted Arjuna award by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI).
The SFI has also nominated veteran coach Kamlesh Nanavati for the Dhyan Chand Award, for his lifetime contributions to aquatic sports.
While Tapan Panigrahi has been nominated for the Dhronacharya Award (lifetime category) for his contribution towards producing many national and international champions in para swimming as well as able bodied category.
This is the second consecutive year Prakash, who is set to compete in his second Olympics in Tokyo, has been recommended for the Arjuna.
The 27-year-old from Kerala scripted history last week by breaching the 'A' standard time for the Tokyo Games, clocking 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy.
Also read: How swimmer Srihari swam his way to the ‘A’ mark despite disrupted access to pools
"By making the A qualification for TOKYO 2020 in the 200 meter butterfly event, Sajan Prakash has broken the glass ceiling and goes down in the history of Indian swimming as the 1st Indian to have achieved this feat.
"His achievement will inspire many more swimmers in time to come. We believe this achievement will place Sajan Prakash's nomination for the Arjuna Award at the forefront amongst equals," SFI Secretary General, Monal Chokshi said in media release.
Nanvati represented India in water polo at many international competitions and subsequently as a swimming coach.
In a career spanning four decades, he has produced numerous national medallists and record holders. He has also made a mark for himself in officiating as "Director of Competitions" at national and international meets and has remained on the technical committee of FINA for Waterpolo.
"Kamlesh Nanavati has reason to be satisfied today, as Maana Patel who he has coached for the better part of her career becomes the 1st Swimmer from Gujarat to represent India at the Tokyo Olympics.
"Blessed is the coach who has the privilege to witness his or her protegee go on to represent the country at the biggest sports platform in the world," SFI President, R N Jayaprakash said.
News source: PTI
How swimmer Srihari swam his way to the ‘A’ mark despite disrupted access to pools
New Delhi, Jun 30 (Sports news) His training was disrupted again and again by the COVID-19 enforced lockdown but the ace Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj remained as cool as a cucumber, confident that he would breach the elusive ‘A’ standard to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Nataraj wasn’t able to enter a swimming pool form mid-March till September, when a two-month national camp was arranged in Dubai last year.
On returning home, the restrictions were eased out and he resumed training in Bengaluru but whenever there was a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, the swimming pools became the first casualties.
However, the 20-year-old took it in stride and on Wednesday he “officially” booked his berth for the Tokyo Games, after FINA, the world body for aquatics, approved his 'A' standard qualification time in the men's 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.
Also read: Indian Swimmer, Srihari Natraj qualifies for Tokyo Olympics after FINA approves Qualification time
“The lockdown did affect a lot, starting earlier could have made a big difference. But there was a reason why it was on and I had no control over that and there’s no point in looking back,” Nataraj told PTI.
“I just kept waiting, trying to keep looking to the future and be patient.” Asked if there were times during the lockdown when he doubted himself, felt he couldn’t make the ‘A’ standard Nataraj’s reply was quick: "Not once".
But Nataraj, only the second Indian swimmer and youngest to earn a direct Olympic qualification, had to work hard for it.
“For me to drop time in the past six months, I know what it has taken. I have never worked out this much.” In his time away from the pool, Nataraj, self-admittedly, enjoyed his time away from the pool.
“I was enjoying my freedom too much because I never got a day off before. I didn’t completely slack but I put on some weight and lost some muscle. But once I got back into the pool it was a lot different as I started burning calories a lot more with double sessions and things like that.” Ahead of the Uzbekistan Open Championship, Nataraj’s first Olympic qualifying event, pools were once again shut in Karnataka but that didn’t stop the youngster from smashing the national record twice in a day but the ‘A’ mark still eluded him.
The pools continued to remain shut ahead of two other qualifying events -- Mare Nostrum meet in Monaco, which Srihari had to give a miss, and the Sette Colli Trophy. But he chose not to harp on it.
“It made no sense to go to a high-level meet (Mare Nostrum) when I haven’t been training for two weeks because pools were shut. I just didn’t think about it. Even before Rome we didn’t have permission to train, so we left earlier.” New obstacles continued arising in his path. After allegations of tampered timings, FINA invalidated the results from the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championship, this included Nataraj’s best time.
The development meant that Nataraj would have to enter an older best time for the Rome meet, one set before the lockdown, which resulted in him being grouped with swimmers in a slower heat and he missed Olympic Qualification Time by a mere 0.05s.
"If I was in a faster heat, not using that as an excuse but that's something that could have made a difference.
"It makes a big difference if you are in a slower heat. Because when you are swimming alone you feel the pain but when you are neck to neck with another swimmer you are thinking about not losing and don’t notice the pain your body is feeling.” Things finally worked in the youngster’s favour as he was granted a time trial on Sunday, the last day of the qualification period, and Nataraj grabbed the opportunity with both hands, swimming his was to the ‘A’ cut with an effort of 53.77s.
However, there was one final obstacle in his way, the ratification of the time.
“I was a little anxious (about the confirmation) but I was distracted most of the time with the sight-seeing and the travel,” he said after his timing was confirmed. News Source: PTI
It's official: Indian Swimmer, Srihari Natraj qualifies for Tokyo Olympics after FINA approves Qualification time
New Delhi, Jun 30 (sports news) Indian swimmer Srihari Natraj officially booked himself a Tokyo Olympics berth on Wednesday after the sport's world governing body FINA approved his 'A' standard qualification time in the men's 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.
"...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.
Nataraj's feat came on Sunday was also new national record, which was enough to achieve the 'A' mark for the Tokyo Games set at 53.85 seconds.
In time trials, swimmers do not compete against other rivals but they get a chance to better their timing.
The Bengaluru swimmer was allowed a time trial by the organisers on the last day for Olympic qualification. The time needed to be officially approved by FINA.
The 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 medallist Virdhawal Khade's previous mark of 1:49.86 seconds.
While it will be Nataraj's maiden Olympics, the Tokyo Games will be Prakash's second appearance at the extravaganza, having represented India in Rio in 2016. News source: PTI
Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash's journey of achieving 'A' cut in 10 months
New Delhi, Jun 29 (Swimming sport News) Not long ago, Sajan Prakash was at his lowest, recovering from a slipped disc in the neck, unable to execute even a single stroke of butterfly and miles away from the self belief that he can make the 'A' cut for the Tokyo Games.
Cut to the present day, the Keralite is being eulogised for becoming the first ever Indian swimmer to earn a direct qualification for the Olympics.
The 27-year-old clocked 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome to make the 'A' cut for the Tokyo Games.
The miraculous turnaround began in August 2020.
Stuck in Thailand during the lockdown, Sajan had not been inside a pool for seven to eight months. To add to his physical injury, Sajan felt emotionally weak.
It was then that he decided to move to Dubai to train under coach Pradeep Kumar, a decision that empowered him to write a new chapter in Indian swimming.
It all started in 2019 when Sajan felt the pain in his neck but chose to ignore it. Things escalated soon and at the South Asian Games, he was unable to move his left hand.
"The neck pain started during the World Championship in 2019 but I thought it will go away like a miracle. I took painkillers and swam after that I went for many competitions," Sajan told PTI.
"In the SAFF games in Nepal on the day of my event I couldn’t lift my hands. Then I finally went for scans and realised I have the slip disk on my neck C4 C5 C6 that was radiating pain towards my left hand." After completing rehab, right when Sajan was ready to get back into competition mode, the lockdown stalled his progress.
"I took a break till March for four months I was doing rehab. And then the lockdown happened, I was in Thailand and had no physio support. In August I moved to Dubai, my physio Mr Richard, started helping me. I could see the progress my coach and his wife also helped me." Often considered the most difficult swimming style, the butterfly requires not only good technique but also strong muscles and Sajan, who was still in pain, struggled with it.
"First three months I couldn’t do a single stroke of butterfly, I wasn’t confident at all because I could feel the pain every time I jumped in the pool. I was swimming only freestyle and sometimes backstroke, was not pushing at all. I started swimming slowly, building up.” The priority was to become physically fit and mentally strong.
"The first priority for me was to be healthy. I was injured and was not mentally strong. Coming out of that was a big task for me. Strengthening my body and getting mentally strong was my first target to achieve." "I was having 50-50 belief when I started swimming in Dubai that I’d make the Olympics. Before I got injured, I used to put too much pressure on myself to see the end-result, thinking about the time and that I need to achieve the target.
"That made me forget all the basic things, what I had to work on, the skill I had to work on. That mental instability and stress put me into injury.” It wasn't until November-December that the pain subsided and Sajan regained the confidence to go back into the pool.
The result in the Latvia Open in February, Sajan's first Olympic qualifying meet, renewed his confidence that he could still get the direct qualification for Tokyo.
"When I went for the first Olympic qualifier in Latvia, I had not trained much for butterfly. But when I went there and swam bellow 2 mins, the coach and I saw something good happening and we started building on it.” Since then, he gradually progressed, shaving off more are more time to ultimately achieve the ‘A’ standard last week. But the 27-year-old’s initial reaction after the swim was not of jubilation but was heartbreak.
"When saw the time board I saw the result of the swimmer next to me and I saw 1.50.80 and I was like ‘not again’. Then I realised that's not my time and when I saw my time I felt lighter on my shoulders, I was in tears." News Source: PTI
Swimming Federation of India announces Rs 5 lakh cash reward for Olympic-bound Sajan Prakash
New Delhi, Jun 28 Swimming Federation of India on Monday announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for Sajan Prakash who scripted history by becoming the first swimmer from the country to earn a direct qualification for the Olympics.
Prakash qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday by breaching the 'A' standard time, clocking 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy.
"SFI president Shri R N Jayaprakash announced a personal cash award of Rs 5 lac to Sajan Prakash, who is the first Indian to achieve the Olympic 'A' qualification time in 200m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome," SFI said in a statement.
"Mr. Jayaprakash lauds the youngster’s achievement and has termed this as a watershed moment for Indian Swimming," it added.
The Tokyo Games will be the Kerala swimmer's second Olympics participation, having competed in Rio 2016 through a Universality quota.
A day after Prakash's feat, Srihari Nataraj breached the elusive 'A' standard time by clocking 53.77s in the men's 100m backstroke at the same event.
However, since his effort came at a time trial, his participation in the Olympics will be confirmed only if FINA approves the timing.
If Nataraj's time is confirmed, the Tokyo Games will mark the first time two Indian swimmers take part in the Olympics through direct qualification. News source PTI
On a roll: Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash sets national record in 200m freestyle
New Delhi, Jun 27 A day after achieving the elusive 'A' cut for the Olympics, swimmer Sajan Prakash continued his purple patch by setting a new national record in the 200m freestyle event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy on Sunday.
Prakash clocked 1:49.73 seconds in the heats at the FINA-accredited Olympic Qualifier, bettering the 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Virdhawal Khade's previous national mark of 1:49.86 seconds.
Prakash has been on a record-breaking spree recently. This is his third national mark this month.
On Saturday, he created history by becoming the first-ever Indian swimmer to breach the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT), clocking a record-breaking 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly event.
With the historic sprint, Prakash rewrote his own national record of 1:56.96s that he had set last week at the Belgrade Trophy swimming competition. News source PTI
Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj sets national record but fails to make A 'cut' for Tokyo
New Delhi, Jun 25 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. News source PTI
Indian Swimmers Srihari Nataraj, Maana Patel nominated for Universality places in Tokyo Olympics
New Delhi, Jun 22 The Swimming Federation of India has nominated Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel to compete in the Olympics via the Universality places qualification system, which allows countries to recommend their two highest ranked swimmers for the showpiece if none makes the cut through the regulation process.
The Universality quota allows one male and one female competitor from a country to participate in the Olympics, provided no other swimmer from the same gender qualifies for the Games or receives a FINA invite based on his or her Olympic Selection time (B time).
Both the Indian swimmers, who will participate in the 100m backstroke event, have been nominated as they are the highest-ranked Indian swimmers in their respective genders. Srihari has 863 points and Maana 735 points.
While Maana's participation is confirmed as no other female swimmer has achieved the Olympic Selection time or 'B' cut, there is a chance Srihari may miss out on the Games.
Six Indian male swimmers, including Srihari himself, have achieved the 'B' cut and are vying for the 'A' standard this week. The last date to achieve the qualification time is June 27. If one of them clocks the 'A' standard the Universality spot will stand rescinded.
Srihari and Sajan Prakash, who represented India in the 2016 Rio Olympics, have come agonisingly close to breaching the 'A' mark recently.
The duo will hope to make the cut in an Olympic qualifying event in Rome later this week.
No Indian swimmer has till date achieved the 'A' cut for the Olympics.
The nominations were communicated to FINA, the world body of aquatics, on June 20, which was the deadline, through the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
"In line with the FINA circular, SFI has nominated Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel for the 'Universality Places' for one man & one woman respectively on the basis of the highest FINA points (in respective gender) achieved at FINA approved Olympic qualification events between 1 Mar 2019 to 20 June 2021 (deadline for nominations to Universality Place)," SFI Secretary General Monal Chokshi said in a statement.
"Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel being the highest ranked basis their FINA points have been nominated for the 'Universality Place' in the respective gender," he added.
Asian Games bronze medallist Virdhawal Khade, Aryan Makhija, Kushagra Rawat and Advait Page are the other swimmers who have achieved the 'B' standard and are vying for the Olympic qualification time.
The Indian swimmers will be participating in qualification events at Rome and Los Angeles this week.
"We are still very hopeful that out of the eight Indian swimmers who have achieved the B qualification mark, at least two of them will make the A cut.
"The swimmers have improved their timings in Belgrade and we are expecting them to go faster in Rome," stated SFI Executive Director Virendra Nanavati. News source PTI