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Sajan Prakash, one of India’s top swimmers, has said that stopping all the “nonsense” around him and having confidence and great support is the key to his dream come true and his goal is to compete in the finals of the upcoming Tokyo Games. Carlite was downgraded in 2019 due to a threat to his career, and the COVID-19 induced lockdown simply made it more challenging to qualify for the Olympics because the pools had been closed for so long. However, the 2-year-old Rome became the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the straight Olympics in the men’s 200m butterfly event in Rome in 1:56:38 seconds.

“There were a lot of comments even before the lockdown that I was getting older and not getting any improvement,” Sajan said in a virtual conversation hosted by SII.

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“Putting this aside, I think the important thing was the belief support system. My friends supported me and I couldn’t lose hope in myself. I’m 22 years old and need a lot of confidence in a swimming event like this. There is. ”

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“It’s all we’ve done and we’ve tried to focus on our goals and stay focused on our business and not let any nonsense get inside. That’s what we’ve been able to achieve.”

Asked about a real goal in the games, he said, “I would say cut another 0.5. Seconds and in this case it’s possible and it will take me 1: 55: 8, which will definitely get me to the semifinals, and probably to the finals.”

Sajan said he was working on turns and trying to cover more distance between one-strokes to reduce time.

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“Exactly 20 days for our reunion. We’ve finished all the work before qualifying. It’s a small task. I’m working on the bend, increasing the distance of that stroke so that I can quickly reach the wall and bend.

“I’m gaining some momentum because I lack the speed of the front arm. I’m confident of spending some more time, so that I can get a chance in the semifinals and possibly the finals,” he said.

Sajan first showed signs of a neck injury during the World Championships in Gwangju in July 2016, but in December it was only at the Nepal South Asian Games, scans revealed a slip disc on the C4, C5 and C6 bones in his neck.

Rehab followed and his recovery was severely hampered by a lockdown as he moved to Thailand and was unable to climb the pool.

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1:56:48 Forget about violating the Olympic A qualifying mark of the second, even the most complex butterfly was very hard to manage a stroke that required a lot of muscle strength and skill, but he continued without paying attention to the criticism around him.

“I had to start everything from scratch initially. I had to work on the basics to qualify for another Olympics with a cut, it wasn’t the right thing to do and we had to run in a very short time,” he recalled. .

“We worked step by step in the small steps, and with my own dedication and with my coach, I made it today.”

After Sajan, Srihari Natraj also qualified directly, when the 20-year-old completed the men’s 100m backstroke in Rome in a fight of 53.77 seconds.

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There will also be a third Indian swimmer, Mana Patel, who has cut the universal quota. For the first time, India will send three members to take part in the Summer Games.

Sajan said the lack of opportunities was the biggest obstacle to Indians’ progress.

“As for the Indian swimmers, they do not lack talent but they do not have a chance to be consistent. We have only two competitions in our senior swimming and it is not enough to test ourselves full time.”

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“You need to have more competition within India. At least that should be a key issue for us. I think if it comes and the government supports that goal more and more sports science and biomechanics come forward. I think there will be in the future. Change.

“In my opinion, it’s not just willpower, it’s a package. To achieve this stage, the player must have all the qualities that are together. It’s a concerted effort for me, it’s the support that brought me to this stage,” he concluded.

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