Updated: July 25, 2021 6:31:54 pm
On Sunday at Tokyo Aquatic Centre, two Indians – Maana Patel in women’s 100m backstroke and Srihari Nataraj in men’s 100m backstroke – competed but failed to qualify for semifinals.
Both clocked timings below their personal bests set in the European meets held last month in their respective heats. Among 43 competitors, two did not start, Maana finished 39th clocking 1 minute 05.20 seconds. The 21-year-old from Ahmedabad entered the Olympics thanks to FINA’s.
Universality Quota and has a personal best of 1:03.77s a national record set at the Belgrade Trophy on June 20 in Serbia in the 100m backstroke event. Her previous record of 1:04.21s was set in 2015 in Uzbekistan. Kaylee McKeown of Australia topped the heats clocking 57.88 seconds with a new Olympic record. Fifteen others qualified for the semifinals with hosts Japan’s Anna Konishi (1:00.04s) being the 16th qualifier.
Much was expected from Srihari who reached Tokyo through quota but in A standard. The 20-year-old Bengaluru boy missed the direct Olympic A mark by less than one second. Srihari’s clocked 53.77s in men’s 100m backstroke in the 58th International Trophy Settecolli in Rome on June 27, less than a month ago.
Competing with the likes of Marek Ulrich of Germany, Srihari finished fifth in the third heats with a time of 54.31s.
Kliment Kolesnikov of the Russian Olympic Committee led the 41 competitors with a time of 52.15 seconds and Srihari finished 27th. Apostolos Christou of Greece with a time of 53.77 seconds was the last and 15th to claim semifinal spot.
The only other Indian to compete – Sajan Prakash will be in action on Monday afternoon in 200m butterfly and on Thursday in 100m butterfly. The inspector with Kerala Police became the first Indian to clear the ‘A’ standard directly when he clocked 1:56.38s in the men’s 200m butterfly at the Rome event on June 27.
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