Aleksey Tarasenko Gets A Cut, Srihari Nataraj Just Misses at Uzbekistan Champs

Aleksey Tarasenko; Photo Courtesy: Iowa Athletics

Aleksey Tarasenko attained an Olympic A cut in the 100 free at the Uzbekistan Swimming Championships this week.

Tarasenko went 48.55 on Day 1 of the multi-day meet Thursday to win the event by more than three seconds. It was just .02 under the Olympic A cut in the event. Uzbekistan already has an A cut in the 100 free via Khurshidjon Tursunov.

Tarasenko also won the 50 free in 22.99 on Friday. Tarasenko swam this year at the University of Iowa. He is transferring to the University of Tennessee after the Hawkeyes announced they were discontinuing the program. Tarasenko had gone 50.35 in last November’s Toyota U.S. Open, his previous best in the 100 free. He was 22.85 in the 50 at that meet.

The meet, designated an official qualifying event for the 2021 Olympics, hosted 161 athletes from central Asia and India. As part of the event, the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan signed a partnership agreement with the national federation of Afghanistan.

The meet was almost history-making for India’s delegation. Srihari Nataraj won the men’s 100 backstroke in 54.07, just .22 seconds away from the Olympic A cut in the event. It’s a personal-best for Nataraj, cutting .62 off his previous best. (He went 54.10 in prelims.) The 20-year-old Nataraj is seeking to become the first Indian to achieve an A cut.

“We have all been super excited with Srihari’s time,” the Swimming Federation of India said in a statement. “54.10 seconds was Atlanta Olympics gold medal time and this time would have also fetched him a bronze at Asian Games 2018.”

Nataraj won three events at the meet, adding the 50 back in 25.11. That an the 100 back time are both Indian records.

Indians won four events on Thursday and Friday: Sajan Prakash (men’s 400 free), Shivani Kataria (women’s 400 free), Maana Patel (women’s 100 back) and Chahat Arora (women’s 100 breast). Prakash later won the 200 free and 200 fly. The latter left him short of the A cut with a B cut of 1:57.85. The auto qualifying time is 1:56.48. Prakash also won the 100 fly. Prakash was the only male Indian swimmer at the 2016 Olympics.

For the meet, Indian swimmers won 18 gold medals and 29 total medals.

In the final day of competition Saturday, Uzbek swimmers Adilbek Yusupbaev and Eldor Usmonov reportedly hit A cuts in the 100 fly in prelims, according to the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation’s recap of events. Yusupbaev went 51.71, with Usomonov at 51.83. However, Prakash won finals in a significantly slower time of 53.69, according to the Press Trust of India’s reporting.

Yusupbaev swam five events at the 2019 World Junior Championships, however the 100 fly was not one of them, so a previous best time is not available. Even less information is available on previous swims by Usmonov.

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3 years ago

Fake Fake Fake times !! Somebody have to stop them it’s absolutely ridiculous , that federation is biggest cheaters

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