Indian swimmers cleared for Olympic qualifiers




A three-member Indian swimming team, including Srihari Nataraj, will leave for Serbia on Tuesday night to compete in the Belgrade Trophy, a FINA-accredited Olympic qualifying event.

The event is scheduled to be on June 19 and 20.

Sajan Prakash is presently training in Dubai and is expected to join the team in Belgrade by June 12.

Apart from Olympic ‘B’ qualifying mark achievers Nataraj and Prakash, who are hoping to make the A qualification mark, the team comprises seasoned back stroker Maana Patel, who recently returned to form at an international meet in Uzbekistan.

There will be youngsters Aryan Nehra, Shoan Ganguli, Tanish Mathew and Kenisha Gupta who are part of the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) group and have been showing great promise.

The team, sans Nehra and Ganguli (who did not meet the qualification times), will travel to Rome on June 23 to take part in the annual Sette Colli Trophy which is also a FINA-accredited Olympic Qualifying event, to be held on June 25, 26 and 27.

They will be accompanied by seasoned coaches Nihar Ameen and Pradeep Kumar.

In April this year, the Indian swimmers had participated in the Uzbekistan Open, which was their first international meet since the COVID-19 lockdown in March last year.