Commonwealth Games 2022: Srihari Nataraj becomes fourth ever Indian swimmer to qualify for final
Commonwealth Games 2022: Srihari Nataraj became the 4th Indian swimmer after Sandeep Sejwal, Viradhawal Khade (2010) and Sajan Prakash (2018) to reach a CWG final.
Srihari Nataraj qualified for the 2022 CWG Men's 100m backstroke final with a timing of 54.55 seconds on Friday, becoming only the fourth ever Indian swimmer to qualify for a Commonwealth Games final.
The 21-year-old from Bengaluru finished 4th in the semi-final Heat 2 and qualified for the final as the 7th overall swimmer among the 8 qualifiers.
South African Pieter Coetze was the fastest swimmer across both the semi-finals, clocking 53.67s on day one of the competition.
Srihari is the fourth Indian swimmer after Sandeep Sejwal and Viradhawal Khade in 2010 and Sajan Prakash in 2018 to have qualified for a CWG final. Sajan made it through as a reserve after an English swimmer withdrew from the final in Gold Coast four years ago.
In 2018, on his maiden CWG appearance, Srihari had turned eyes by advancing to two semifinals, but this is the first time he has qualified for a final.
Earlier in the day, he qualified for the semifinal by finishing third in heat 4 of the qualifiers with a timing of 54.68s.
Among other Indian swimmers in action on the first day, Sajan Prakash finished eighth in his heat and failed to advance to the semis and Kushagra Rawat finished 14th.
Srihari's final will be on Saturday. His personal best timings of 53.77 seconds would have placed him second on the basis of the timings of all the other swimmers in the semi-finals.
Can he become 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?