Sajan Prakash targets Olympics qualification

Ace swimmer Sajan Prakash is aiming to achieve the A standard Olympic qualification mark in his favourite event — the 200m butterfly — in the upcoming senior National swimming championships in Bhopal.

Sajan warmed up for the senior Nationals by taking part in the World Police Games last week.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Ace swimmer Sajan Prakash is aiming to achieve the A standard Olympic qualification mark in his favourite event — the 200m butterfly — in the upcoming senior National swimming championships in Bhopal.

The 25-year-old, who is training in Bengaluru with his personal coach K. Pradeep Kumar, hopes to swim the 200m butterfly in less than 1:56.48s which is the qualification time for the Tokyo Olympics. Sajan will have to slice more than 1.25 seconds from his personal best (1:57.48) to achieve this. However, Sajan is confident that he will be able to breach that mark in Bhopal next week.

Sajan said he would be concentrating only on the 100m and 200m butterfly in the senior Nationals. “I decided to concentrate on only two events after consulting my coach Pradeep Kumar. I will be concentrating more on 200m butterfly and I will have to lower nearly 1.3 seconds from my national record. But I am confident that I will be able to achieve the A standard in Bhopal. I have been training hard for the last one year. Looking back I was happy that I broke the National record (in 200m butterfly) and did well in the Asian Games but I still feel I could have done a little better last year,” he said.

Sajan warmed up for the senior Nationals by taking part in the World Police Games last week. He won nine medals including six gold medals. “It was a good practice event for me. The competition was held in different age groups and I took part in the 18 to 29 age category. It was very competitive in certain events and good practice for me,” he said.

After the senior Nationals, Sajan will be taking part in the Asian age group championships which will be held in Bengaluru next month before returning to his training base in Phuket, Thailand. Sajan has been training with Spainard Miguel Lopez for the last four years. “I do all the pre-season training in Phuket with Miguel Lopez and I do training for speed work with Pradeep sir either in Dubai or Bengaluru,” said Sajan.