Sajan Prakash becomes first Indian swimmer to join International Swimming League

Sajan was included in the Energy Standard, one of the top teams in the league, for the 2021 season and is aiming to join the competition in November.

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Sajan said Olympics was a great learning curve and he was mentally and physically exhausted by the time he reached Tokyo.   -  Manob Chowdhury

Ace swimmer Sajan Prakash, after becoming the first Indian to qualify directly for the Olympics, has achieved another first in his career. The 26-year-old Sajan became the only Indian to be picked for International Swimming League (ISL). Sajan was included in the Energy Standard, one of the top teams in the league, for the 2021 season.

Sajan, who is undergoing Ayurvedic treatment in Thrissur for the past week, was not able to make it to the ISL, which got underway in Naples on Saturday. Sajan is, however, confident that he will be able to figure in the playoffs, which are likely to be held in November. 

"It is great recognition for me and Indian swimming. If Indian swimming has to improve, we need to take part in such leagues, and hopefully, we can see more Indians in the ISL soon. ISL is all about short sprints, and they know I am good in it and picked me for Energy Standard, which won the ISL in 2019. I am part of the 30 member team. Hopefully, I will be able to swim in the playoffs,'' he said.

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Sajan said his shoulder was feeling better after undergoing ayurvedic treatment, and the injury affected his performance in Tokyo. "I am undergoing two-week long ayurvedic treatment to mend my old neck and shoulder injuries which have been troubling me for the last one year. Even when I swam in the Olympics, I felt I didn't have enough power on my left hand though I managed to pull through the events. After one week of treatment, I am feeling much better now,'' he said.

The 27-year-old said that the Olympics was a great learning curve and he was mentally and physically exhausted by the time he reached Tokyo. "To be honest, I was exhausted as I had spent my whole energy trying to qualify for the Olympics. But I am proud that I became the first Indian to qualify directly for the games. I hardly had two weeks of training before the games. I am not entirely happy with my Olympic performance, even though I was able to better my timing in the 100m butterfly. It was a great learning curve, and it will put me in good stead for the coming events," he said.

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