Rio 2016: Swimmers Sajan Prakash and Shivani Katariya fail to qualify
Sajan Prakash has been eliminated from the Men’s 200m butterfly event while Shivani Katariya has failed to make it through in the Women’s 200m freestyle event. With both of them getting knocked out within minutes of each other, India’s swimming challenge at the 2016 Games has come to a close.
Sajan finished with a time of 1:59:37, marginally behind his own best time, which incidentally is a national record in this discipline. He has been placed 28th over all heats, missing the qualifying mark by 2.65 seconds. He came behind race leader Tamas Kenderesi by 4.64 seconds.
Given how the 22-year-old Sajan has been rising through the ranks and breaking national records, there had been some hopes placed on him to better the performances of previous Olympic swimmers from the country.
It has been a disappointing day so far for India at the Rio Olympics with the late goal conceded against Germany, and Abhinav Bindra finishing at 4th. Many were looking expectantly towards the men’s pool, but it was not to be today that Sajan would create a new landmark for the sport in the country.
Michael Phelps came third in Heat 3, behind overall leader Kenderesi, with a time of 1:55.73. For someone like Sajan, to compete in the same event as the legendary Phelps and only come 4 seconds behind him, is bound to remain a sweet memory, despite the failure to qualify.
Men’s 200m butterfly Semi-final line-up – Kenderesi (1:54.73), Cseh, Le Clos, Irvine, Phelps, Sakai, Bromer, Seto (1:55.79), De Deus, Quah, Koptelov, Marcio, Sjodin, Croenen, Gomez, Li Zhuhao (1:56.72)
Not much hope had been thrust upon Shivani, who had qualified with a time of 2:04:34. It is expected that semi-finalists in this event finish the race within 2 minutes, so always had a mountain to climb. However, her performance on the day was less impressive than her personal best, as she finished with a time of 2:09.30, five seconds off her best. She was placed 41st in the final rankings.
Shivani had the slowest reaction time in Heat 1, but started very impressively, inching ahead to pole position within the first 50 metres. However, she fell off from then on, and was overtaken at the split by Fijian Matelita Buadromo. None of the swimmers from Heat 1 qualified. The best time was registered by American prodigy Katie Ledecky, who finished almost 15 seconds ahead of the Indian.
Women’s 200 m freestyle Semi-final line-up - Ledecky (1:55.01), McKeon, Sjostrom, Bonnet, Pellegrini, Shen, Coleman, Al Yanhan (1:56.52), Haughey, Barratt, Popova, Franklin, Savard, Lyrio, Heemskerk, Maclean (1:57.74). Shivani eliminated, missing the mark by 12 seconds.