New Delhi (India), June 22 (ANI): Swimming Federation of India (SFI) on Tuesday announced Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel as their nominations for the Universality Places for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 which are scheduled to begin from July 23.
The nominations were communicated to FINA on June 20 through the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Participation in swimming events at the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 is being governed by the qualification pathway published by the world body of aquatics viz FINA. Due to the postponement of the games, FINA had extended the qualification period for achieving the qualification times up to June 27. The FINA qualification pathway provides for two (2) qualification times i.e. Olympic qualification time (A time) and Olympic Selection time (B time).
Any swimmer achieving the A time at a FINA-approved competition within the qualification period will get an automatic berth for the respective event. Any swimmer achieving the B time in a similar fashion may receive an invitation by FINA to participate depending on the remaining quota places to be decided after accounting for all A quota, relay only, and Universality Places.
The FINA qualification pathway provides for "Universality Place" for one manone woman, provided no swimmer from the country has achieved an A qualification time. The deadline for entering the swimmers under 'Universality' being June 20, SFI has finalised the entries for both genders to represent India at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games under the "Universality Places".
"In line with the FINA circular, SFI has nominated Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel for the "Universality Places" for one manone woman respectively on the basis of the highest FINA points (in respective gender) achieved at FINA approved Olympic qualification events between 1 Mar 2019 to 20 June 2021 (deadline for nominations to Universality Place)," stated SFI Secretary-General Monal Chokshi in an official release by Swimming Federation of India (SFI).
He further added, "Srihari Nataraj and Maana Patel being the highest-ranked basis their FINA points have been nominated for the "Universality Place" in the respective gender."Srihari Nataraj, Maana Patel, and other Indian swimmers are currently participating in the qualification events in Rome, Italy, and Los Angeles, USA between June 21-27 (June 27 being the end of the qualification period).
If any Indian swimmer achieves the A time or receives a FINA invitation on B time, the universality spot will stand rescinded for such gender in which this is achieved. The swimmer achieving the A time or receiving the FINA invitation will replace the "universality nomination" in that gender.
"We are still very hopeful that out of the eight Indian swimmers who have achieved the B qualification mark, at least two of them will make the A cut. The swimmers have improved their timings in Belgrade and we are expecting them to go faster in Rome," stated SFI Executive Director Virendra Nanavati. (ANI)