Tokyo Olympics: Sajan Prakash becomes first-ever Indian swimmer earn 'A' cut quota (Watch video)
Sajan Prakash is a promising young swimmer from India who has won numerous gold medals. He has managed to qualify for his second Olympics, while he was the only male swimmer from the nation to represent in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In what comes as massive news for the Indian contingent in the swimming department, Sajan Prakash has become the first Indian to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Furthermore, he has done so in a grand fashion, earning an 'A' cut into the event, thus becoming the first Indian swimmer to do so ever.
Taking part in the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, he participated in the 200m butterfly and clocked 1:56:38 seconds, going past the 'A' standard cut-off time of 1:56:48. In the process, he also bettered his previous national record of 1:56.96 last week during the Belgrade Trophy event.
"I have worked very hard for this, and I was confident with the way I had trained. This was my last chance, and I knew I had to do it here. I had come so close to the qualifying mark in the previous meets, but my Coach Pradeep Sir and I planned my tapering in such a way that I would peak at these two events in Serbia and Rome," he said following his feat, reports PTI.
"I am grateful to all the support I have received from SFI, SAI and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS). I believed in myself and my Coach Pradeep Kumar. Pradeep Sir was the anchor and I owe this to him. I knew I had it in me, and I am glad I achieved it," he added.
The 27-year-old has been a consistent performer at the national and international level, having won eight medals during the 2015 National Games in Kerala, which included six golds. He also won three golds during the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati.
He has qualified for his second ever Olympics, having qualified as the only male swimmer from the nation during the last edition in Rio, 2016. He will join female swimmer Maana Patel in Tokyo, while his qualification rules out Srihari Nataraj, who had been nominated based on the University quota.
Meanwhile, Prakash was congratulated by the Swimming Federation of India and the Sports Authority of India on social media for his historic achievement.
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