Rio Olympics 2016: Swimmers Sajan Prakash and Shivani Kataria chosen to represent India
Prakash was the best performer at the 2015 National Games.
After a long wait, the names of the swimmers set to represent India at the 2016 Rio Olympics have been revealed by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) on Tuesday. The 2015 National Games star Sajan Prakash and 2016 South Asian Games gold medallist Shivani Kataria have been chosen by the SFI as Rio wildcards.
Prakash, who was the standout performer at the last National Games winning 6 gold and 3 silver medals, was one among five Indian swimmers who had attained the ‘B’ qualification mark for the 2016 Games.
All of them had participated at the final Rio qualifier in Hong Kong that concluded on July 3 with the hope of breaching the ‘A’ mark. Unfortunately, none of them could achieve it which would have given them a direct entry.
With 798 points in 400m freestyle tallied before the Hong Kong meet, the 22-year-old Prakash was close behind the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Sandeep Sejwal, who had amassed 822 in the 200m breaststroke. The exact reason why Prakash got the nod over Sejwal, however, is not clear.
The SFI had planned to request the world swimming body FINA for a special quota for a woman under tripartite rules as revealed by Virendra Nanavati, the FINA swimming committee member and Asian Swimming Federation vice-president in an earlier interview. That facilitated the chance for the blossoming talent, Kataria to participate in the Games.
It is expected that Prakash will be in action in the 200m butterfly while Kataria will be trying her luck in her pet event – the 200m freestyle.