Gold Coast (Australia), April 5: India’s Virdhawal Khade advanced to the semi-finals in the mens 50 metre butterfly event of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre here on Thursday.
Khade, who competed in Heat 5 along with teammate Sajan Prakash, overcame a slow start in lane 6 to finish fifth, clocking 24.52 seconds.
South African Ryan Coetzee, who swam next to the Indian, topped the heat with a time of 23.94.
The Maharashtra swimmer, making his international comeback after a long sabbatical, made a strong finish to pip teammate Prakash, who failed to capitalise on his flashy start.
In the end, Khade’s timing was good enough to secure his place in the top 16 swimmers who advanced to semifinals from a total of 56 who competed across seven heats.
The semi-finals of the event will be held later on Thursday.
In the men’s 100m Backstroke event, Srihari Nataraj also qualified for the semi-finals after clocking 56.71 seconds in the heats.