Swimmer Sajan Prakash finished second in his heat in the men’s 100m butterfly event in Tokyo Olympics on Thursday but it was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals which ended the Indian challenge in the Tokyo Olympics swimming event. Prakash, who also represented the country in Rio Olympics 2016, clocked 53.45 seconds while the cut for the semi-finals was 51.74 seconds. The 27-year-old swimmer from Kerala finished 46th among 55 players. The top 16 swimmers advance to the semifinals.
All three Indian swimmers Prakash, Srihari Nataraj, and Maana Patel performance were disappointing, as they could not even match their best times in their main events. Prakash, who last month became the first Indian to break the Olympic ‘A’ qualification mark to qualify for the Tokyo Games, finished 24th overall in his favorite event, the 200m butterfly, on Monday.
In the 100m backstrokes, Nataraj, who was competing in his debut Olympics, was ranked 27th out of 40 swimmers. Prakash and Nataraj had continuously lowered their personal best times in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, raising everyone’s expectations. Nataraj would have qualified for the semifinals if he had equaled his personal best in his event.
Also, Maana, who qualified for the Olympics through a “universality quota,” which lets a country send one male and one female athlete to the Games, finished 39th overall in the women’s 100m backstrokes.