On the opening day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, India found a new star in Srihari Nataraj who finished third in heat and fifth overall in the Men's 100m Backstroke to qualify for the semi-finals.
Nataraj was born on January 16, 2001, in Bengaluru, Karnataka. His father, Nataraj Venkataraman, was an employee of NLCIL and is a former national athlete. Kalyani, Srihari’s mother, was a volleyball player from Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu and has played for the state in junior nationals and for Madurai University in the All-India Inter-University Championships, while his elder brother Balaji is an engineer in Singapore who also was a national-level swimmer.
Srihari Nataraj made his India debut at the 2017 Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. He couldn't get a podium finish at the event but continued getting decent results in events like Asian Games 2018, Commonwealth Games 2018 and Summer Youth Olympics 2018 at Buenos Aires, Argentina. He then went on to win four gold medals in the South Asian Games in 2019.
Nataraj in 2021 had one of the top moments of his career as he became the second Indian swimmer to clear the 'A' standard of the FINA "A" Olympic qualification time at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. He would finish with a time of 53.77s in the men's 100m backstroke time trial event. Sajan Prakash was the first Indian Swimmer to achieve this feat.
Here is all you need to about Srihari Nataraj:
Name: Srihari Nataraj
Age: 21 Years
Born on: 16 January 2001
Birthplace: Bangalore, Karnataka
Coach: Nihar Ameen.
Idol: Micheal Phelps
Gold medal – first place in 2019 Kathmandu 50 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place in 2019 Kathmandu 100 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place in 2019 Kathmandu 200 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place in 2019 Kathmandu 4 x 100 m medley relay
FINA "A" Olympic qualification time in men's 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.