Exemplary Indian swimming team win gold medal at Asian Age Group Championship
The Indian national swimming team made the country proud by winning the gold medal at the ongoing Asian Age Group Championships in Bangkok. Participating in the 4x100m relay event, Neil Contractor, Virdhawal Khade, Sajan Prakash and Anshul Kothari clocked a time of 3:27.1 to finish, ahead of Indonesia and Macau respectively.
India’s best athlete from the 2015 National Games Sajan Prakash continued his stellar run this year, by bagging a silver medal in the 400 m event as well. Prakash clocked a time of 3:57.4, missing out on the gold medal by 0.3 seconds. The swimmer from Kerala has already booked a spot at the 2016 Olympics in this particular event, finishing under the qualification timing of 3:58.4.
An ecstatic Prakash told Sportskeeda, “I am very happy, considering the training I am putting in. This is more like training for the events. I’m doing 6km workouts everyday, so that I can qualify for all the events I’m participating in.” The 22-year old has already qualified for the 1500m event, after clocking a time 15:45.29 at World Championships in Kazan, earlier this year.
He added, “With relation to the gold medal, we outperformed our opponents in style. Now it’s only a matter of how we can keep working and progress.”
Prakash created history at the National Games, by winning the most number of medals by an individual athlete. He amassed a total of nine medals (Six golds and three silver).
He also finished fourth at 100m Butterfly event yesterday, missing out on the Olympic qualification by less than a second. He clocked a time of 55:03 and the Olympic qualification mark is 54.10. Prakash added, “My main aim is to now qualify for the 200m fly. I am putting in all my dedication and training, but for me to practice for the Olympics, I need to attend more FINA tournaments. National meets are fine, but to get a better timing, I need more sponsors. I am yet to be approached by any.”
Prakash will be participating in the 800m freestyle today, aiming to book yet another Olympic slot. Apart from Prakash, India will have representation from Asian Games bronze medalist, Virdhawal Khade, who will be participating in the 50m freestyle event.
Post this event, Prakash will be participating at the Senior Nationals in Rajkot in October 28 and then the SAF Games in January. He said, “There is no rest till the Olympics, my coach wants me to better my timing and use these events to boost my confidence. Just hope a few sponsors, come and help me out, so I can go participate in more tournaments.”
He is currently training in Phuket, Thailand.