India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.
Sachin Nag’s swimming gold at 1951 Asian Games
Swimmer Sachin Nag won the 100m freestyle gold at the inaugural Asian Games in New Delhi on March 7, 1951. It was India’s first gold medal at the continental event.
Nag’s success was acclaimed with great jubilation and the cheering broke out like thunder as there was a good deal of suspense preceding it tor both the Indian swimmer and W. Walters of Singapore timed 1 minute 4.7 seconds.
The judges went into consultation and the majority opinion was that Nag touched the bank first. It was hard luck for Walters but Nag deserved his success for his superb dash towards the end. Sotero Alcantara of the Philippines took the third place.
Nag earned appreciation from then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for emerging the fastest swimmer. The 100m freestyle gold is the only first position finish by an Indian swimmer at Asiad.
He also clinched bronze in 4x100m freestyle (with Bimal Chandra, Isaac Mansoor and Sambu Saha) and 3x100m medley (with Kanti Shah and Jehangir Naigamwalla).
(The article was first published in The Hindu on March 8, 1951)(The copy was updated to reflect the correct timing)