FINA World Junior: India’s Srihari Nataraj finishes seventh

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Budapest: India’s young swimmer, Srihari Nataraj, finished seventh in the men’s 100m backstroke at the FINA World junior swimming championships in Budapest, Hungary.

With a timing of 54.69s in Tuesday’s semifinals, the 18-year-old, qualified for final.

Srihari Nataraj set the new national record after breaking his own senior national record twice on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old had broken his own 100m backstroke record clocking 55.18s (previous record 55.49s) in the heats and then bettered it with a timing of 54.69s while finishing third in the semifinal and sixth overall. That saw him make the ‘B’ standard qualifying time (55.47s) for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. The ‘A’ standard stands at 53.85s.

Nataraj was recently part of the Indian team for the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The Bengaluru swimmer also holds the national records in the 50m backstroke (25.83 secs) and 200m backstroke (2:02.08 secs)—both marks were set at the senior worlds in Gwangju, South Korea.

In the last two Olympics, no Indian swimmer achieved ‘A’ qualification time and entry was given only via the universality quota. Each country can enter two athletes in the universality quota.

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