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Srihari Nataraj books final berth in men's 100m backstroke, Kushagra Rawat finishes last

The 21-year-old finished fourth in his heat and seventh overall to secure a berth in the medal round that will take place on Sunday.

July 30, 2022 / 05:30 PM IST
Srihari Nataraj of India competes. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth - HP1EF7P066DX6

Srihari Nataraj of India competes. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth - HP1EF7P066DX6

Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj has qualified for the finals of men’s 100m backstroke after clocking 54:55 seconds in the semi-final of the ongoing Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old finished fourth in his heat and seventh overall to secure a berth in the medal round that will take place on Sunday. South African Pieter Coetze, however, was the fastest swimmer across both the semi-finals, clocking 53.67s on day one of the competition.

The Bengaluru swimmer will now set his sights on becoming only the second Indian swimmer to bag a medal in the Commonwealth Games since Prasanta Karmakar’s historic bronze in the para-swimming event at the Delhi CWG in 2010.

At the Tokyo Olympics last year, Nataraj had become the first Indian to swim in the classification A heat. The young swimmer had clocked 54:31s to finish 27th in the men’s 100m backstroke event.

On Saturday, Kushagra Rawat finished last in his heat in the men’s 200m freestyle event. Rawat clocked 1:54.56 seconds in heat 3, which was won by Elijah Winnington of Australia with a timing of 1:46.87s.

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South Africa’s Matthew Sates finished second and qualified for the final with a timing of 1:48.25s. The top two from the eight-member field in heat 3 qualified for the final.

The other three finalists came from heat 4 and heat 5. Earlier, in men’s 400m freestyle heat, Kushagra Rawat failed to advance to the semifinals after clocking 3:57.45 to finish 14th overall.

Sajan Prakash, too, missed out in the men’s 50m butterfly event as he finished eighth, clocking 25.01s.
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