Sajan Prakash, a police officer from Kerala, has become the first Indian swimmer to achieve the Olympic ‘A’ qualification. This automatically qualifies him for the Tokyo Olympics. Sajan clocked in an impressive 1:56.38 in the 200-metre butterfly event in Rome at the Setti Colli Trophy; a full 0.1 second less than the qualification standard.
Sajan Prakash, Armed Police Inspector in Kerala Police, qualified for the Olympics with the A cut time 1.56.38 in 200m butterfly in Rome today. He becomes the first Indian swimmer to represent India, in the Olympics and to qualify with an A cut. A proud moment the country. pic.twitter.com/vWj61guusX— Kerala Police (@TheKeralaPolice) June 26, 2021
Here is a video of the event:
What’s more impressive is that Sajan has been battling with a shoulder and neck injury for the past couple of years.
Sajan, in a press release, credited his coach Pradeep Kumar for his success. He said that his coach was his anchor and that it was his training sessions with his coach that helped him qualify for the Olympics.
Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for the athlete on Twitter. The Swimming Federation of India called Sajan’s achievement a “watershed moment”.
For all the Indian swimming fans waiting to watch the watershed moment in Indian swimming .. Sajan Prakash 200 Butterfly Olympic A qualification time @KirenRijiju @Media_SAI https://t.co/t2OqaENFg2 pic.twitter.com/ioxPhVBvJF— @swimmingfederationofindia (@swimmingfedera1) June 26, 2021
While Anand Mahindra went on to congratulate Sajan and talked about how he was envious since he has not been able to master the butterfly stroke.
Amazing. Bravo Sajan! Hope this signals a new era of participation by Indians in the top rungs of the sport. And I’m particularly envious. I’ve been swimming since childhood but still haven’t mastered the rhythm of the Butterfly stroke! Anyone with some tips to make it easier? https://t.co/opykBoIQ6V— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 26, 2021
Congratulatory messages have been pouring from celebrities as well.
Congratulations Sajan Prakash, on becoming the first Indian swimmer to attain the ‘A’ standard qualification in the Olympics. The fact that you hail from Kerala is yet another reason to take pride in this achievement.— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) June 27, 2021
Wishing you the very best! pic.twitter.com/OY8KYfesMW
Sajan’s qualification into the Tokyo Olympics is indeed a proud moment for all Indians and we wish him good luck and hope to see a stunning performance in Tokyo.