Srihari falls narrowly short of making A 'cut' for Tokyo Olympics

Srihari Nataraj clocked 53.90 seconds bettering his own record in the 100m men's backstroke event. However, it was not enough to make the 'A' mark for the Tokyo Games.

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Srihari Nataraj was nominated by the Swimming Federation of India for the Olympics via universality quota but was keen to secure A-qualification.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Srihari Nataraj came agonisingly close to securing the A-mark Olympic Qualification Time in 100m backstroke event, but fell 0.05 seconds short at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome on Friday.

In what was his last opportunity to get the A-mark, Srihari clocked 53.90s, a personal best and a Best Indian Performance, bettering his own timing of 54.45s set last week in Belgrade. But it wasn’t enough to breach the Tokyo 2020 mark (53.85s).

The 20-year-old has been nominated by the Swimming Federation of India for the Olympics via universality quota but was keen to secure A-qualification.

Fellow Olympic hopeful Sajan Prakash will make his final effort to clinch an Olympic spot on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Advait Page came up with the Best Indian Performance in the 1500m freestyle event by clocking 15:23.66s in Mission Viejo, California, on Thursday. En route to his gold, he bettered Kushagra Rawat’s previous best of 15:25.22s set last year.

Page, who has achieved B-qualification time for Tokyo in 800m freestyle, will look to achieve the A-mark this weekend.

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