Srihari aims for major high next year  

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  It has been a hectic two weeks or so for the ace swimmer from India, Srihari Nataraj. After achieving three best Indian performances at the short course World Championships in Dubai,  the backstroke specialist could not even return back to his hometown in Bengaluru due to professional commitments. He had to compete at the All India Inter University Nationals in KIIT University, with the four-day meet concluding on Saturday.  

He reached the venue at around 1pm and featured for his Jain University team in the 4x200m relay, and won gold. Overall, the swimmer featured in six events, winning five gold and one bronze. Some of his timings in the competition are 50m backstroke (25.80s), 50m freestyle (23.42s), 100m freestyle (51.30) among others.

It was only on Monday evening that the swimmer finally landed in Bengaluru. But the swimmer is aware of the important year ahead, which includes the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Championships next year.

Each and every competition that he features in the run onto these big ticket events helps him understand the areas where he needs to improve and excel. The youngster has set major goals in 2022. “Before the 2024 Olympics, my first target is Asian Games in September, where I want to win medals for my country. I had competed at the 2018 CWG, 2018 Asiad and 2019 Worlds by the age of 21. I am pretty aware of the co-competitors whom I am going to face in my upcoming international events,” Srihari said.

 “After the Tokyo Olympics, me and my supporting coaching staff prepared a road map. I will move step-by-step to reach my dream timings of 51 sec or 51.05 seconds in the 100 metre backstroke event in the year 2022.”

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