Sajan, Srihari feel Tokyo experience would help

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Top Indian swimmers Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj may have had an underwhelming Tokyo Olympics but they feel that the experience gained would help them in future events as they train their sights on a podium finish at next year’s Commonwealth & Asian Games.

Sajan wrote a new chapter in the history of Indian swimming by becoming the first swimmer from the country to qualify for the Olympics by breaching the A-standard time at a qualifying meet in Rome on June 26. A day later, Srihari replicated the feat to seal his berth for the Tokyo Games.

Both swimmers consistently shaved off times to achieve the elusive A-mark in their respective events.

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However, they couldn’t repeat their performance in Tokyo, failing to qualify for the semifinals. Srihari clocked 54.31s to finish 27th overall in 100m backstroke, while Sajan managed 1:57.22 in the 200m butterfly to be ranked 24th.

The two weren’t even able to match their personal bests, which they had clocked a few weeks earlier.

“I didn’t have enough time to compete in the Olympics after Italy. We only had three weeks to start again. If I had had three months, the performance would have been better,” Sajan said.

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“I prepared my best, tried to return into training and re-peak within three weeks after Rome but it seemed quite hard,” Srihari said.

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