Srihari clocks personal best, comes agonisingly close to Olympic 'A' cut

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Tashkent, Apr 15 (PTI) Top Indian swimmer Srihari Natarajan came agonisingly close to achieving the elusive Olympic 'A' qualification time in the 100m backstroke event, falling short by 0.22 seconds at the Uzbekistan Open Championship here on Thursday.

The-20-year-old, who had achieved the 'B' standard time for the Tokyo Games at the FINA Junior World Championships in 2019, clocked his personal best of 54.10s in the heats before bettering it to 54.07s in the final event to win the gold.

The Olympics 'A' cut for 100m backstroke event for men is 53.85s.

While a 'B' mark means the swimmer will receive an invitation to the event if the total available quota places are not filled up, an 'A' standard ensures an automatic berth to line up at the Tokyo Olympics.

No Indian has till date achieved the 'A' standard.

Maana Patel clocked 1:04.47s in the women's 100m backstroke event to take home the gold ahead of compatriot Suvana Baskar, who settled for the silver with a timing of 1:06.17s.

Sajan Prakash bagged his third gold of the tournament in the 400m men's freestyle event, clocking 3:56.03s.

Shivani Kataria won the yellow metal in the women's 400m freestyle.

Chandigarh swimmer Chahat Arora bagged the gold in the women's 100m breaststroke event while Likhit SP and Dhanush S grabbed silver and bronze respectively in the men's event. PTI APA PDS PDS