Olympian swimmer Sajan Prakash will train in Australia ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The 30-year-old won a scholarship from FINA and the world swimming body will send him to Bond University’s development centre in Gold Coast for training. He will be training under head coach Chris Mooney who has a good track record of producing Olympic medal winners.
However, Sajan’s first goal is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics with an A standard qualification mark in the 200m butterfly event. Ahead of the previous Olympics in Tokyo, Sajan had become the first Indian swimmer to achieve the A Standard mark.
“It will be a good opportunity for me to train under a renowned coach and use the world-class facilities at Bond University. My first goal is to attain the A standard qualification mark for the Paris Olympics which should be around 1.56.30s The competition has become tougher and I believe this stint will help me achieve it,’‘ said Sajan.
It has been an up-and-down year for Sajan, who finished sixth in the 200m butterfly event at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Though he was happy to figure in the Asian Games final, he wasn’t satisfied with his timing.
“It was a tough field and was really competitive. I wanted to do a low 1.56 in the Asian Games and I fell short of my expectations. It was a difficult year for me. My coach Pradeep Kumar fell ill and it affected my training schedule. I wasn’t in my best form in the Asian Games, ‘‘ he said.
Sajan took part in the National Games in Goa to stay in competitive trim, winning three gold medals in long-distance events.
“I am happy with my performance in the National Games. I just took part in as many events as possible to stay competitive. I was competing in 1500m and 800m freestyle events after a long time and I was testing my endurance and was happy to win medals in those events,’‘ said Sajan who will leave for Australia this week.