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‘Five stars’ Sajan Prakash sets the pool on fire | Other Sports News


RAJKOT: History seems to have repeated itself. Seven years ago, Olympic double swimmer Sajan Prakash dominated National Sports Festival in Kerala by winning an incredible six gold and three silver medals to be awarded the title of ‘Best Athlete’ of the Olympics. It was a sublime effort by Sajan, a performance that gave the Kerala swimmer the confidence to hit qualifying points for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics in the men’s 200m butterfly event.
Participating in the second National Games in Gujarat, Sajan, the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the FINA ‘A’ Olympic Games as he achieved a national record of 1:56.38 in the 200m butterfly at met Sette Colli in Rome last year, awakening his competitors by putting on a masterful performance swimming at Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex.
Sajan ended his campaign at the Olympics with five gold, two silver and one bronze in butterfly, freestyle and medals for all but the second ‘Best Athlete’ award consecutive. “I am very happy to be competing in the Olympics. It was an abrupt but welcome development when the Olympics were announced, the largest sports meeting in the country. I’m satisfied with my performance, even though I’m not at my best. I want to compete to see how my body reacts. Winning five gold medals is a good achievement,” he said.
Sajan missed the competition on Monday as he was with doctors investigating a pain in his abdomen during the opening day races. “We did the CT scan and luckily it was just a muscle problem. I don’t want to bring an injury from the Olympics,” he said, showing that he has been cautious here in his approach.
It also reflects in Sajan’s time. His win time of 55.32 seconds in the 100m butterfly final is slower than his Olympics record time of 55.03 seconds, not to mention his best time of 53 .24 watches at last year’s National Championships in Bengaluru or even the 54.14 he made at the Danish Open in April this year. However, he went ahead and ended his campaign with a flourish at the Olympics, winning gold medals in the 400 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley on Friday.
Sajan says it was his commitment to swimming and his desire to be the best ambassador for the sport that drove him to give everything in the pool at the Olympics. “I heard that young athletes like Aneesh Gowda spoke well of me. I am grateful for any positive impact I can have on young swimmers. Kindness and gentleness should become the norm and I want to set a good example to change things,” added Sajan.

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