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Rome [Italy], June 26 (ANI): Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj came agonisingly close to achieving the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT) in 100m backstroke at the 2021 Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy, on Friday as he rewrote a new national record in the event.
The Indian swimmer clocked 53.90 seconds for the win in what was a time-trial race. He was 0.04 seconds short of the OQT set at 53.85 seconds for the Tokyo Games but the 20-year-old managed to set a new national record. He improved on his previous best of 54.45 seconds set at the Belgrade Trophy 2021 last week as reported by the Olympics official website.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) announced Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel as their nominations for the Universality Places for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 which are scheduled to begin from July 23.
Participation in swimming events at the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 is being governed by the qualification pathway published by the world body of aquatics viz FINA. The FINA qualification pathway provides for two (2) qualification times i.e. Olympic qualification time (A time) and Olympic Selection time (B time).
Any swimmer achieving the A time at a FINA-approved competition within the qualification period will get an automatic berth for the respective event. Any swimmer achieving the B time in a similar fashion may receive an invitation by FINA to participate depending on the remaining quota places to be decided after accounting for all A quota, relay only, and Universality Places.
The FINA qualification pathway provides for "Universality Place" for one man & one woman, provided no swimmer from the country has achieved an A qualification time. (ANI)