Sajan Prakash, 23, is from Kerala, India. Sajan started swimming at the age of six. He inherited the spirit of competition from his mother, a professional athletics competitor and main supporter of his success. His foray into swimming started when he tried several different sports. When he discovered he had a flat foot that prevented him from pursuing athletics, he turned to swimming. Winning state and national competitions motivated him to pursue swimming at the professional level while he trained in Bangalore with the national coach. He broke three national records during his career. Sajan attended Annamalai University and completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Applications. He aims to work as a swim coach to help raise swimming standards in India.
“Financially, we were weak and never had any support. Mum is the backbone behind my success to get training equipment, food, accommodations,” Sajan said.
Sajan arrived in Thailand in 2015 after receiving the FINA Scholarship and the support of the Swimming Federation of India. The scholarship helped him achieve his Olympics dream. While Sajan trains at India’s great facilities, he believes FINA is vital to supporting swimmers in other countries that lack swimming pools and training centres. With FINA’s help, Sajan learned new techniques and is able to return to India to execute new strategies.
Thanyapura’s swimming program differs from his training plans in India. In India, he focused on endurance whereas Thanyapura’s coaches work on quality and power. For swimmers, Thanyapura is ideal for performance sports. The coaches give equal time and instruction to all swimmers regardless of group size. Sajan likes the facilities for its food and pollution-free ambience. The food at DiVine complements his clean eating lifestyle that keeps him mentally and physically strong.
Sajan’s challenge in swimming was training for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He sustained a shoulder injury during the time he was pursuing the Olympic Qualifying Times at the South Asian Games in India. Despite only being able to kick in the water, Sajan qualified on the last day of the qualifying period in July 2016. This year, Sajan is preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. His long-term goal for Tokyo is to reduce one second from his finish time per year. He aims to finish with a record of 00:01:56 at the Asia Games 2018.
In 2016, Sajan competed in six competitions and received 4 gold, 4 silver, and 1 bronze medals.
Instagram – @sajanprakash