Sejwal leads Indian hopefuls at qualifying event

Sandeep Sejwal, India's top swimmer, will lead an Indian contingent of five for an Olympic qualifying meet in Hong Kong. Olympic berths for Indians are still up for grabs; India is yet to finalise a Rio 2016 entry in swimming.

Sandeep Sejwal clinched gold medals in the men's 100m and 200m breastroke categories in the South Asian Games held earlier this year.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Sandeep Sejwal, India's top swimmer according to International Swimming Federation (FINA) rankings, will lead an Indian contingent of five for an Olympic qualifying meet in Hong Kong. Olympic berths for Indians are still up for grabs; India is yet to finalise a Rio 2016 entry in swimming.

Sejwal appeared confident ahead of the qualifying event. He hopes to get an 'A cut' - a timing cut-off according to Rio 2016 Qualifying Time Standards - in the event. "My preparation has been up to the mark, I think. I have covered all the important zones of my race. Everyone is very hopeful that I will improve on my timings and get the 'A cut'," he told Network 18.

At least two swimmers from India will have to qualify in the 'A cut' for both to book their berths in the Olympics. Otherwise, in case of swimmers having qualified in the lower 'B cut' category, a country can send only one swimmer to the mega event.

Sejwal's Indian competitors in the qualifying event are Sajan Prakash, Supriyo Mondal, Virdhawal Khade and Saurabh Sangwekar.