Maana Patel becomes first Indian female swimmer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Maana Patel has become the first Indian female swimmer to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics through ‘universality quota', confirmed SAI on Friday.

Maana will take part in the 100m backstrokes 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.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter and wrote, “Backstroke swimmer Maana Patel has become the 1st female and 3rd Indian swimmer to qualify for #Tokyo2020. I congratulate Maana, who qualified through Universality Quota. Well done!!”

The 21-year-old Patel is a decorated athlete having won gold medals in 50 backstroke and 200 metre backstroke also at the National Games. She also clinched gold in 100 metre backstroke at the 60th National School Games (2015) breaking the national record in backstroke.

In 2015, Patel was selected for the Olympic Gold Quest, marking the first time a swimmer was roped in. Three years later in 2018, Patel secured three gold medals at the 72nd Senior National Aquatic Championships. At the Senior Nationals in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018, Patel swept all three backstroke events.

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