Sports and active nutrition bran Fast&Up has become nutrition partner of Shrihari Natraj in his quest for an Olympics berth at the Tokyo 2020.
Fast&Up has announced it commitment to the backstroke sensation from India as Natraj returned home from the FINA Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday evening.
Natraj will be aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics during at the 10th Asian Age Group Championship in Bengaluru next month. He has shown remarkable improvement in the 100 and 200 metres backstroke event over the past 12 months, slashing his time from 56.71 seconds (100m) and 2:02.97 (200m) seconds last year to an impressive 54.69 and 2:02.08 seconds respectively at the FINA Junior World Championships in Budapest between August 20 and 25. His effort in the 100m backstroke event has enabled him to achieve the B Qualification mark for Tokyo Olympics and is only a mere .80 seconds behind the A Qualification time.
Though he improved the national record in all three events, Srihari is not content with his effort. “I thought I could swim faster in the 100m backstroke and make the A Qualification time which guarantees my participation in Tokyo Olympics. Though I am a little disappointed, my swim in Budapest certainly gives me the confidence to achieve my target in the coming months,” stated the champion swimmer on his arrival at Bengaluru last evening.
Natraj emphasized that with good nutrition support and some fine tuning in his flip turns, he can make the A Qualification mark. “I need to focus a little bit more on my diet, nutrition and recovery where I believe Fast&Up will play a big role. I am delighted to have their support in my Olympic quest. I need to work on my start and turns, be slightly more quicker. With the 10th Asian Age Group Championships happening in Bengaluru, I stand a real good chance to further improve my time and I am pretty confident that I can clock A qualification time in 100 and 200m backstroke. In the next four weeks I will be racing at the Senior Nationals followed by the Asian Age Group Championships in front of my home crowd in Bengaluru so I am eagerly looking forward to it,” he said.
Fast&Up CEO, Vijayaraghavan Venugopal said he was happy to support the swimmer in his quest to achieve the Olympic qualification. “We have been in touch with Srihari for a while now and he exudes confidence and is very focused on his target. At the rate at which he is performing, we at Fast&Up believe he is on track to achieve the qualification for Tokyo 2020 and in this important quest, we are happy to support him and wish him the very best for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying event.”
Fast&Up recently announced the signing of elite athlete Govindan Lakshmanan and is in partnership with over 100 Indian athletes which include Indian cricketer Mayank Agarwal, India’s highest ranked table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and footballer Iain Hume.