National Games 2023 Goa: Srihari Nataraj receives Best Male Athlete Award

After a fortnight of rumbling at the national games, the 37th edition in Goa has finally come to an end. The closing ceremony was held in the august presence of the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri. Jagdeep Dhankar, at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium. Maharashtra was crowned as the overall champion. Subsequently, they received the Raja Bhalindra Singh Ever-Rolling Trophy from the Hon’ble Vice President of India. Sanyukta Prasen Kale of Maharashtra and Pranati Nayak of Odisha won the Best Female Athlete Trophy. Both the athletes received their prize from the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa. Pranati and Sanyukta had both won four gold and one silver each to win the coveted award. However, the showstopper has been the young swimmer from Bangalore, Srihari Natraj.

Flamboyant performance from Srihari Natraj

Srihari Natraj has been in the highlights for some time after the recently concluded Asian Games in Hangzhou. Although the 22-year-old was not able to win any medal, Natraj has surely shown a lot of spark and promise. Moreover, he had also shown a lot of promise during the Tokyo Olympics as well. There were, however, many doubts about the young swimmer when he was unable to fulfil the expectations imposed on him.

But he has put aside every criticism under the carpet as he was able to put up a fantastic show in the recently concluded National Games in Goa. Srihari Nataraj won a total of ten medals which included eight gold, one silver and one bronze each. Subsequently, he bagged the Best Male Athlete Trophy of the tournament. He was handed the trophy by IOA president Dr. P.T. Usha.

Speaking on this momentous occasion, Dr P.T. Usha shared, “This grand celebration of sports held in Goa has left an indelible mark in Indian Sports history. Behind the scenes, there’s an unsung army of heroes who have worked tirelessly to ensure these Games have become a grand success. She went on to add, “I am delighted to announce that the 38th National Games will be hosted by the beautiful state of Uttarakhand.”

Career of Srihari Natraj so far

Srihari Nataraj is an Indian swimmer who represented India at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. He qualified for the Tokyo Summer Olympics after FINA approved his ‘A’ standard qualification time in the men’s 100m backstroke time trial at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. In 2017, he competed in short-course swimming at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

In 2018, he represented India at the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia. A few months later, he competed at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the same year, he also competed in the boys’ 50-metre backstroke, boys’ 100-metre backstroke and boys’ 200-metre backstroke events at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Moreover, he had a fantastic tournament in the South Asian Games in 2019. However, since then he has not been able to perform at the optimum level. Nevertheless, with the National Games performances, it can be said that Natraj is making amends for the drought of his medals.

Read more:

  1. Swimming Stats: Indian national records in Swimming
  2. Swimming stats: Swimmers Who Have set the Most World Records in a Calendar Year
  3. Swimming records that have not been bettered since Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo

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