Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj scripts National Record in the men’s 50m backstroke event during his Gold medal win at the ongoing Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championship, in Tashkent. Sajan Prakash, who competed in four categories, won top-hours in each but still failed to breach to ‘A’ mark.
It was a couple of days ago that Bengaluru-based swimmer Srihari Nataraj claimed a Gold medal in the 100m backstroke event with a personal best of 54.07 seconds and create a new national record. But, he eventually missed out on the Olympic ‘A’ qualification mark by a whisker, falling short by 0.22 seconds.
It was Sunday that he clocked 25.11 seconds in the 50m backstroke event to claim his second Gold medal at the meet and also script another national record, his third in two days. Indian swimmers returned with a tally of 29 medals in the Uzbekistan Open, which includes 18 gold, seven silver and four bronze medals overall.
Sajan Prakash, who was also in contention for a Tokyo Olympics berth, claimed Gold medals in each of the four events he participated in. The Kerala-based athlete, who was the only entrant in the 2016 Rio Games, also missed out on the Olympic ‘A’ qualification mark with him clocking 1.57.85 seconds in the 200m butterfly event, which was shy of the 1:56.48 benchmark.
Among the women, Maana Patel, one of India’s most successful backstroke specialists, claimed top honours in the 50m backstroke event, while Divya Satija winning the 50m and 100m butterfly events respectively. Meanwhile, Kenisha Gupta Youngster clocked 26.61 seconds in the women’s 50m freestyle event to claim her third top-place finish of the tournament. S Dhanush claimed a Gold medal in the 200m breaststroke event with a timing of 2:21.15.
Finishing the Uzbekistan open 2021 with 2 golds, 3 national records and just falling short of the Olympic A qualifying time by 0.22s in the 100M Backstroke. Felt great to be back racing internationally and looking forward to the next!!@KirenRijiju @Media_SAI @swimmingfedera1 pic.twitter.com/hAk05q199i— Srihari Nataraj (@srihari3529) April 17, 2021