New Delhi: Sajan Prakash Olympic ‘A’ Became the first Indian swimmer to cross the qualification time, clocking 1:56.38sec in the men’s 200m butterfly at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.
Sajan, who played Rio Olympics 2016, Tokyo Olympics ‘a’ Entering Standard managed by 0.1 sec. Tokyo Olympics A Standard is 1 min 56.48 sec. The Kerala swimmer clocked one minute 56.96 seconds in the Belgrade Trophy swimming event last week, which was his national record.
Swimming Federation of India tweeted, ‘‘Historic moment for Indian swimming. Sajan Prakash took the Olympic qualification time. Congratulations.’’
Prakash will participate in the swimming event of Tokyo Olympics with Mana Patel. Mana has been nominated by the Swimming Federation of India. Prakash’s direct qualifying means that Srihari Nataraja will not be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, who was nominated under the university quota along with Mana. Natraj missed out on qualifying in the 100m backstroke in Rome by 0.5 seconds on Friday.
University quota gives one male and one female swimmer from the country a chance to play in the Olympics provided no one qualifies directly or gets an invitation from FINA on the basis of Olympic selection time (B).
Prakash was always sure of getting A mark. He said in April, ‘‘I am not doing my best right now, but I am sure I will soon. For this you have to be patient.’’
India’s Kenisha Gupta also set a national record in the 100m freestyle in Rome.