Swimmers fall short of Olympics mark

Belgrade, June 20

Olympics hopefuls Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj won a gold each at the Belgrade Trophy swimming competition but missed the elusive ‘A’ qualification mark for the Tokyo Games.

Prakash clocked 1 minute, 56.96 seconds to win gold in the men’s 200m butterfly event at the FINA-accredited Olympics qualifier on Saturday, rewriting his own national record of 1:57.73 from 2018. However, the 27-year-old swimmer from Kerala fell short of the cut by 0.48s.

Nataraj clocked 54.45 seconds in the 100m backstroke event to bag the top honours. But the 20-year-old missed the mark by 0.60s.

Both swimmers have already achieved the Olympics ‘B’ mark. The ‘A’ qualification mark ensures an automatic berth.

Shoan Ganguli clinched the third gold for India by clocking 4:37.70 in the 400m medley. Seasoned Maana Patel (29.79s) bagged silver in the women’s 50m backstroke event, while Tanish Mathews took bronze in men’s 200m butterfly in 2:13.55. Kenisha Gupta, part of the TOPS development group, finished fourth in the women’s 50m freestyle with a time of 26.65s. — PTI

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