BIRMINGHAM: Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj has qualified for the finals of men's 100m backstroke after clocking 54:55 seconds in the semi-final event at the ongoing Commonwealth Games here.
The 21-year-old finished fourth in his heat and seventh overall to secure a berth in the medal event that will take place on Sunday.
South African Pieter Coetze, however, was the fastest swimmer across both the semi-finals, clocking 53.67s on day one of the competition.
The Bengaluru lad will now set his sights on becoming only the second Indian swimmer to bag a medal in the Commonwealth Games since Prasanta Karmakar's historic bronze in the para-swimming event at the Delhi CWG in 2010.
At the Tokyo Olympics last year, Nataraj had become the first Indian to swim in the classification A heat. The young swimmer had clocked 54:31s to finish 27th in the men's 100m backstroke event.
Earlier, in men's 400m Freestyle heats, Kushagra Rawat failed to advance to the semifinals after clocking 3:57.45 to finish 14th overall.
Sajan Prakash too missed out in the men's 50m butterfly event as he finished eighth clocking 25.01s.