Tokyo Olympics swimming: India’s Srihari Nataraj, Maana Patel fail to reach 100m backstroke semi-finals

Srihari Nataraj finished 27th while Maana Patel finished 39th in their respective heats. Only the top 16 make the semi-finals.

By Ritu Sejwal
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Indian swimmers Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel failed to advance to their respective 100m backstroke semi-finals at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Sunday. Neither could match their personal best times.

Srihari Nataraj finished 27th out of 40 in the men’s heats with a time of 54.31 seconds while Maana Patel clocked 1:05.20s to finish 39th overall in the women’s category.

The timing clocked by both Indian swimmers was not enough to book a spot in the semi-finals. Only the top 16 swimmers make it to the semi-finals.

Swimming in Heat 3 of the men’s 100m backstroke, the 20-year-old Srihari finished third as Germany’s Marek Ulrich topped with 53.74 sec. The German was 0.57sec faster than the Indian.

Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Kliment Kolesnikov was the fastest overall, clocking 52.15 sec. American swimmer Ryan Murphy, who is the current world and Olympic record holder in the event, is placed seventh with a time of 53.22s.

Germany’s Apostolos Christou completed the semi-finals line-up with 53.77s.

Interestingly, Srihari’s personal best is 53.77 seconds. He set the time at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome last month and earned direct qualification for the Olympics.

In the women’s category, Maana Patel featured in the first of six heats with only three swimmers. The Indian swimmer clocked 1:05.20sec, 2.47 seconds slower than the heat topper Donata Katai of Zimbabwe.

Australia’s Kaylee McKeown swam to a new Olympics record clocking 57.88s to become the fastest to advance to the semi-final. Countrywoman Emily Seebohm held the previous record of 58.23 set at the 2012 London Olympics. Emily Seebohm, who swam in the same heat as McKeown, is placed fifth overall with a time of 58.86s.

The last swimmer to make the semi-finals was Japan’s Anna Konishi with a timing of 1:00.04sec. Maana Patel’s personal best is 1:03.77.

On Monday, Sajan Prakash will be in action in 200m butterfly heats.

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