Sajan Prakash first ever Indian swimmer to make ‘A’ cut for OlympicsJune 27, 2021
Sajan Prakash breached the automatic qualifying mark for the Tokyo Olympics at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome on Saturday, becoming the first ever Indian swimmer to make the ‘A’ cut for Olympics. He clocked 1:56.38 in the 200m butterfly event, a new national record. The automatic qualifying mark for the Olympics was set at 1:56.48.
On Friday, Srihari Nataraj came agonizingly close to becoming the first Indian swimmer to achieve the ‘A’ cut at the same tournament. In the 100m backstroke event, he won his race in 53.90 seconds, 0.05 seconds short of the qualifying time set at 53.85 seconds for the Tokyo Games.
Sajan Patel’s ‘A’ time qualification also means that 20-year-old Nataraj is set to miss out on the Tokyo Olympics. This is set to be Sajan Prakash’s second Olympics. He had been the male swimmer nominated by India at Rio Olympics.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) announced Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel as their nominations for the Universality Places for the Tokyo Olympics.
Swimming’s world body FINA offers qualification pathway in two ways — Olympic qualification time (A time) and Olympic Selection time (B time).
Any swimmer achieving the A time at a FINA-approved competition within the qualification period will get an automatic berth. Any swimmer achieving the B time may receive an invitation depending on the remaining quota places to be decided after accounting for all A quota, relay only, and Universality Places.
The FINA qualification pathway provides for “Universality Place” for one man & one woman, provided no swimmer from the country has achieved an A qualification time.