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Belgrade swimming: Indians win 3 gold, all miss Olympic qualification

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Belgrade, June 20, 2021 (Agency) India’s Sajan Prakash on Sunday won gold medal in the men’s 200 meters butterfly event in the Belgrade Open Swimming competition late Saturday evening, but narrowly missed qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Prakash, 27, clocked one minute 56.96 seconds, but fell short of the ‘A’ qualification time of 1 minute 56.48 seconds late on Saturday.

Teenage Srihari Nataraj won gold in men’s 100m backstroke with a time of 54.45 seconds. His timing was, however, slower than the ‘A’ qualification time of 53.85 seconds. He has achieved the ‘B’ qualification time, but on Saturday he failed to get into a good rhythm and missed the qualification mark.

Shoan Ganguli won the third gold medal for India, in the men’s 400m medley with a time of four minutes 37.70 seconds.

Maana Patel clocked 29.79 seconds to clinch silver in the women’s 50m backstroke while Tanish Mathew settled for bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly.

Six Indian swimmers, including Prakash, have achieved the ‘B’ qualification time in the 2019-2020 Olympic qualification cycle. ‘A’ qualification time guarantees an automatic berth.

Indian swimmers, particularly Nataraj and Prakash, will get one last chance to crack the ‘A’ qualification time next week in Rome.

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