Srihari Nataraj, a talented Indian swimmer, placed seventh in the men’s 100-meter backstroke event at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday in Birmingham.
The 21-year-old was fifth in the 50m split but was pushed further back in the difficult first lane and finished with a timing of 54.31s. He was chasing an elusive medal in the able-bodied CWG swimming events.
It was far behind the 53.77 seconds that he recorded last year to guarantee his spot in the Tokyo Olympics, which was both his personal best and a national record. If he had repeated the performance, he would have won an illustrious gold medal.
Pieter Coetze, an 18-year-old from South Africa, won the gold medal in 53.78 seconds, followed by Brodie Williams of England in 53.91 seconds and Bradley Woodward of Australia in 54.06 seconds.
The sole Indian to have earned a swimming medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi was paraswimmer Prasanta Karmakar.
“I’m now totally worn out. After the race, Nataraj said, “I gave it everything, but on this day, that’s all I had in me.
Nataraj’s timing at the 50m split was 26.31s, which, in his opinion, “should have been better,” as he claimed to have reached his peak in the final 25m but to no use.
“I followed my plan and concentrated on myself as I swam. The first 50 may have been opened a little quicker. I got off to a strong turn and start.
According to the video, “my third 25m really was really amazing. They said I caught up with everyone. However, in retrospect, I could have run the first 50m a little bit faster.