Commonwealth Games 2022 swimming: India’s Srihari Nataraj finishes seventh in 100m backstroke final

Tokyo Olympian Srihari Nataraj clocked 54.31s in his maiden CWG final. Kushagra Rawat crashed out of the men’s 200m freestyle heats. 

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by Olympics.com

Ace Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj finished seventh in the men’s 100m backstroke final at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK, on Saturday.

Swimming in his first CWG final at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Tokyo Olympian Srihari Nataraj timed his 100m swim in 54.31s, slower than his personal best of 53.77s he achieved last year.

South Africa’s Peter Coetze won the gold in 53.78s at Birmingham 2022 with home favourite Brodie Paul Williams (53.91s) and Australia’s Bradley Woodward (54.06s) following him on the podium.

Srihari Nataraj, who holds the men’s national record in all three backstroke categories (50m, 100m and 200m), came seventh in 54.55s in the semi-finals to qualify for the eight-men final on Friday.

Earlier, Srihari Nataraj had timed 54.68s in the men’s 100m backstroke heats to finish fifth in the field of 38 swimmers. The 21-year-old will also compete in the 50m backstroke heats on Sunday.

Srihari Nataraj’s compatriot Kushagra Rawat, who is making his CWG bow, crashed out from the heats in the men’s 200m freestyle event. 

Kushagra Rawat finished eighth and last in heat 3 with a time of 1:54.56 and stood 25th among the 38 swimmers across the heats. Elijah Winnington of Australia was the fastest in 1:46.87.

Kushagra Rawat, the national record holder in the 400m men’s freestyle, will also compete in the 1500m freestyle race along with Advait Page on Tuesday.

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