Abu Dhabi: Star Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj continued his record-breaking performance at the FINA Short Course World Championships here on Monday with his third ‘best Indian time’ of the tournament. The 20-year-old Nataraj improved on Sajan Prakash’s best Indian performance in the men’s 100m freestyle event with a timing of 48.65s. However, the Bengaluru-based swimmer’s performance was not enough to earn him a place in the semi-finals, and finished 38th overall in the heats. The top 16 swimmers made it to the semi-finals.
Natraj, who became the second Indian swimmer after Sajan to achieve ‘A’ qualifying level for the Olympics, participated in the Tokyo Olympics. Natraj had earlier set the ‘best Indian times’ last week in the 50m and 100m backstroke as well. Delhi’s Kushagra Rawat finished 21st overall in the men’s 1500m freestyle with a timing of 15:07.86s.
The times and records of this competition differ from the traditional long course. The competition is being held in a swimming pool of 25 meters. The short course meet is held in a 25-meter pool while the 50-meter pool is called a long course pool. A time in swimming is considered a national record only if it is achieved at the National Aquatic Championships, hence the time for other competitions is called the ‘best Indian time’.