Srihari Nataraj, as promised, delivered the gold in the men’s 100m backstroke, but fell short of the A-mark Olympic Qualification Time on the third day of the 10th Asian Age Group Swimming Championship here on Thursday.

The 55.06 he swam was faster than the previous meet record by 0.83 seconds but was more than a second off the time required to secure an Olympic berth (53.85).

Later in the evening, he finished a creditable third in the 100m freestyle (50.91), a race in which Virdhawal Khade secured the silver with 50.68.

“Not disappointed,” said Srihari about the backstroke result. “I expected a faster time but there is nothing to be disappointed with. This is my third fastest time [ever]. I gave my 100 per cent and tried my best. The competition was a lot tougher than what I thought it would be. I didn’t expect a fellow 55s backstroker to be here. So it was exciting.”

Another of the Olympic hopefuls, Sajan Prakash, clinched the gold in the 200m butterfly but wouldn’t be very pleased with his timing.

He clocked 2:00.38, which was 0.25 seconds slower than his effort at the Senior Nationals earlier this month, a result he had termed “very disappointing.”

Kushagra Rawat meanwhile continued his gold-winning spree by coming first in 400m freestyle. The teenager has now swept all four freestyle races at the championship and has an opportunity to add a relay gold on Friday.

On the day, India won four golds, four silvers and four bronzes to take its total overall tally to 40 (12G, 16S, 12B).