- NET Web Desk
Maana Patel asserted her excitement to become India’s first female swimmer. Patel will compete in Tokyo in the women’s 100m backstroke.
She was nominated by the Federation Internationale De Natation Amateur (FINA) via an universality quota.
The quota allows countries to recommend their two-highest ranked swimmers – one male and female participant, if none makes the cut through the regulation process.
“I am honoured and humbled to represent my country at the Olympics this year. But I believe this is just the beginning for me and there is a long way to go, many more medals to win for India.” – she told Reuters.
Maana made the cut along with men athletes – Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash. She is the third Indian swimmer to represent the nation in the Tokyo games.
According to Reuters report, Indian citizens were shut down during the lockdown with a hesitation among the athletes for preparation of Tokyo Olympics, that got postponed for a year.
“Corona period was very difficult for all of us, especially for swimmers because pools were shut for a very long time and it was very difficult for us to train,” she said.
Her first event of the year was Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championships in April, where she clocked 1:04.47 seconds for the gold medal in the 100m backstroke.