CWG 2022: Nataraj registers record Indian time in 200m backstroke despite failing to enter final
Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj failed to enter the 200 metres backstroke final in Commonwealth Games 2022. However, he did manage to script an Indian record in the process.
Ace Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj transcended the best Indian time en route to a third-place finish in Heat 2 but failed to qualify for the men's 200 metres backstroke final of the event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham on Tuesday. Nataraj clocked 2:00.84 seconds to become the first reserve in the event. His previous best happened to be 2:01.70 seconds, which he had attained during the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships. In swimming, timing is considered a national record only when achieved at the National Aquatics Championships. Hence, the timings clocked in other events are the best Indian time.
Local favourite England's Luke Greenbank won the Heat with the timing of 1:56.33 seconds, while Pieter Coetze of South Africa finished second, clocking 1:58.08 seconds. The best eight swimmers from the three Heats entered the final. Nataraj ended ninth overall and has been kept as the first reserve, meaning he could sneak in if someone pulls out before the final.
Nataraj missed out on his immediate final berth by just 0.19 seconds. He had earlier finished fifth, his best-ever result in the CWG, during the men's 50m backstroke final, which had clocked 25.23 seconds. Later on Tuesday, a couple more Indian swimmers, Advait Page and Kushagra Rawat, would compete in the men's 1,500 metres free-style event.
(With inputs from PTI)