Sajan Prakash stays back in Phuket, resumes training

With the swimming pools in India not yet open for public and training, Sajan thought the best option before him was to extend his stay in Phuket and continue training.

Sajan Prakash has already achieved the ‘B’ qualification mark for the Tokyo Games in the 200m butterfly event.   -  S. Mahinsha

Sajan Prakash, who was stranded at his training base in Phuket during the lockdown, has decided to stay back and train at the FINA Aquatic Centre.

With the rapid spread of the pandemic in India and the Central Government not opening the swimming pools for public and training, Sajan thought the best option before him was to extend his stay in Phuket.

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“I had thought of coming back to India when the lockdown was partially lifted in Thailand but the situation in India had deteriorated pretty quickly and moreover, the pools are still closed so I decided to stay back and train in Phuket,'' said Sajan Prakash who has achieved the B-standard qualification norm for Tokyo Olympics.

The 25-year-old landed in Phuket in the second week of February to resume training with his Spanish coach Miguel Lopez. But the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic saw lockdown being enforced in Phuket. After three months, the lockdown has been lifted and Sajan has resumed training along with 17 other trainees at the centre. His coach Miguel, who had left for Spain when the lockdown began, has joined him.

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However, Sajan has not hit the full throttle in training. The neck (slip disc) and shoulder injuries which he had sustained last year is still bothering him and he has decided not to exert himself.

“I have been carrying this injury before the 2019 world championship and it became really bad in December where I couldn't lift my hand or move my neck. It is better now but the pain is there when I start pushing myself so I'm slowly increasing the intensity. I am in touch with my physiotherapist who is based in India and follow his instructions. I am pretty happy with the recovery and there is no hurry also as the Olympics has been postponed and with no competition in sight I can slowly plan my comeback,'' he says.