Top Indian swimmers, including Olympians Sajan Prakash, Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel, will fight for the national crown at the Senior National Aquatic Championships 2021, starting from October 26 in Bengaluru.
Two-time Olympian Sajan Prakash and South Asian Games champion Srihari Nataraj created history when they became the first Indian swimmers to achieve direct qualification to the Olympics by breaching the Olympic Standard Time.
At Tokyo 2020, Sajan Prakash had competed in the men’s 100m and 200m butterfly while Srihari Nataraj swam in the 100m backstroke. They did not make the finals.
While Sajan Prakash is the defending national champion in the 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m medley and 400m freestyle, Srihari Nataraj holds the 100m and 200m backstroke national titles.
Both start as favourites this year, along with Kushagra Rawat, S Shiva, Madhu PS and Tanish George Mathew.
On the other hand, Maana Patel, who earned the Tokyo Olympics berth under the universality quota, will defend her 50m and 200m backstroke national title. The 21-year-old had competed in the women’s 100m backstroke at Tokyo 2020 but didn’t qualify for the final.
The women’s event at this year’s nationals also includes other notable names like Chahat Arora, Shivangi Sharma and Shrungi Bhandekar.
The senior national championship, now in its 74th edition, was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s event will be held in three separate venues in Bengaluru. The swimming competitions will take place at the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre while diving will be conducted at the Kensington Swimming Pool and water polo at the Nettakallappa Aquatic Centre.
The sub-junior and junior national championships have already been conducted at the same venues from October 19 to 23.
Where to watch Senior National Aquatic Championships live in India?
Live streaming of the Senior National Aquatic Championships will be on the Swimming Federation of India’s official Facebook page.