Twenty-one-year-old swimmer Maana Patel has made the country proud. She will represent India at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Maana, a native of Ahmedabad, will compete in the 100m backstroke at the Olympics. She was selected for the Olympic Gold Quest in 2015. She has won one gold and four silver medals so far.
Maana has become the first woman in the country to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Apart from this, she is only the third Indian to qualify for the Olympics in this sport. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also tweeted congratulating Maana for her achievement.
Rijiju tweeted, “Backstroke swimmer Maana Patel has become the first Indian woman and the third Indian swimmer to qualify for # Tokyo2020. I congratulate Maana who achieved qualification under the University Quota. Weldon.”
Maana, 21, suffered a knee injury in 2019 and has made a comeback this year. Vijay Nehra also tweeted congratulations on Maana Patel›s achievement. “Very nice Maana Patel, heartfelt congratulations to you and your coach Kamlesh Nanavati, as well as congratulations to your parents Ravjibhai and Analben, whose hard work and dedication I have seen over the last 10 years,” he wrote. You have made us all proud.
Apart from Maana, the other two swimmers to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics are Srihari Nataraja and Sajan Prakash. The university quota allows one male and one female competitor to compete in the Olympics. Talking about her selection, Maana said, «I am very happy. I’ve heard about the Olympics from my fellow swimmers and seen them on TV and seen a lot of photos, but this time staying there and competing with the world’s best swimmers makes my hair stand on end.”