Srihari Nataraj shattered the national record in the men's 200m freestyle event at the Asian Games 2023 on Wednesday. Nataraj clocked an impressive 1:49.05, eclipsing the previous record of 1:49.73 set by Sajan Prakash in 2021.
Sajan Prakash's record-breaking performance in the 2021 Sette Colli Trophy had earned him a coveted spot in the Tokyo Olympics by clocking 1:56.38 seconds, well below the Olympic Qualification Time (OQT) of 1:56.48 seconds for the 200m freestyle event.
Nataraj's feat, although placing him 10th in the men's 200m freestyle heats, secured him a position as the second reserve for the final
In other swimming events at the Asian Games, the competition was strong and India failed to qualify for any finals. Olympian Maana Patel entered the women's 100m backstroke but finished fifth in her heat and 13th overall, with a time of 1:03.55s, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final.
Meanwhile, India's Nina Venkatesh faced stiff competition in the women's 100m butterfly. Despite the efforts, she concluded fourth in her heat and 14th overall, with a timing of 1:03.89s, falling just short of the final cutoff as only the top eight swimmers advanced.
In the women's 100m breaststroke event, Lineysha also failed to make it to the medal round. Her efforts led her to touch the wall in sixth position in her heat, recording a time of 1:15.60s. However, this performance was insufficient to secure a place in the medal round.