Indian swimmer Maana Patel secures Tokyo Olympics berth

New Delhi : Indian woman swimmer Maana Patel has booked her place at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics through ‘Universality quota’, the Swimming Federation (SFI) of Indian confirmed on Friday.

Maana will compete in the 100m backstroke at the Tokyo Games and is the third Indian swimmer to have qualified after both Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash achieved Olympic Qualification Timing (OQT) ‘A’ level recently.

‘With A qualification spots to TOKYO 2020 booked by Sajan Prakash & Srihari Nataraj in male gender .. FINA confirms the universality spot in female gender for Maana Patel making her the 3rd swimmer to join the Indian team for swimming events at the XXXII Olympiad Games Tokyo 2020,’ the SFI tweeted.

It will be first time in the history that three Indian swimmers will take part in their respective events at the Olympics.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I have heard about the Olympics from fellow swimmers and watched it on the television and seen a lot of pictures,” Maana told

“But to be there this time, competing with the best in the world, just gives me goosebumps,’ she added.

Having injured her ankle towards the end of the 2019 season, the 21-year-old Maana was on a comeback trail when competitions resumed earlier this year.

“It was a tough year to come back after the injury,” Maana said.

‘Though the pandemic and the lockdown was a blessing in disguise as it helped me recuperate well, but then later the frustration crept in. I am not used to staying away from the water for this long,” she added.

After a two-month training at the national camp in Bengaluru, Maana Patel competed in her first event of the year at the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championships in April. There she clocked 1:04.47 seconds for the gold medal in the 100m backstroke.

“I was happy with my timing in Uzbekistan. Nothing great. But to get back into competitive racing and managing 1:04 was good. I knew I was on the right track,’ the swimmer said.

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