Sajan Prakash is an Indian competition swimmer. He is the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the FINA ‘A’ standard of international swimming in 200m butterfly. Sajan holds several national records in his name.
Sajan Prakash was born on Tuesday, 14 September 1993 (age 27 years; as of 2020) in the Idukki district of Kerala, India. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He attended St. Paul’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School and Jawahar Higher Secondary School for his primary and secondary education. Sajan enrolled himself at the Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu to pursue a Bachelors degree in computer applications. Sajan Prakash has an interest in learning about sports science thus he got himself enrolled at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in the online course of masters in sports science.
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 70 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Sajan Prakash’s mother’s name is V.J.Shantymol. She is a former athlete who has represented India in several national and international events.
Sajan Prakash started practising swimming before he entered his teenage. Initially, he had interests in the field and track-based sports especially running & badminton but could not proceed to play the sports as he had a flat foot which restricted him to professionally participate in the field events. Sajan Prakash grew up in a family of athletes which motivated him to pursue a career in the field of sports. Despite being not able to participate in field events he chooses swimming and got himself enrolled at the Neyveli Lignite City Swimming Club, Neyveli, Tamil Nadu to train himself in swimming under the mentorship of Joy Joseph and Saji Sebastian. Soon after his enrollment in the Neyvwli club, Sajan landed in an unexpected problem with the authority of the swimming club showing less interest in swimming which became a barrier in his career growth. He was then advised by his coaches Joy Joseph and Saji Sebastian to join the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre, a premier swimming training centre located in Bangalore. There Sajan Prakash resumed his training under his present coach Pradeep Kumar.
On 8 February 2015, Sajan Prakash made his first national record at the 35th Indian National Games, Kerala in 2015, winning six gold medals and three silver medals at the National Game. This victory of Sajan brought him into the limelight and also proved to be a turning point in his career.
In 2015, FINA, an international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competitions in water sports partnership, approached the Swimming Federation of India to do a partnership to train Indian swimmers in Thailand along with 21 aspiring Olympians from the world for the Rio Games 2016. The authority at the Swimming Federation of India choose Sajan Prakash for this partnership and Sajan took full advantage of the opportunity and became the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the Rio Olympics. In 2016, he went to Rio Games 2016 but could not win any medal there.
On 26 June 2021, Sajan Prakash again register a national record in his name when he became the first Indian swimmer to earn the ‘A’ standard of international swimming, clocking 1:56.38 minutes in the 200m butterfly and directly got qualified for the next Olympics. On this victory he said,
I am very emotionally happy because I went through some hardships and obstacles over the last two years. It was as difficult as it could get for me. Many, including some of the people I am closest to, didn’t believe that I could do it. Yet, there were friends I consider as family from the swimming fraternity who supported me and believed in me. I think I made them proud with whatever I did last Saturday. I have not felt this happier in my entire life.”
- 2014: 100m Butterfly at National Games, India
- 2014: 1500m Freestyle at Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland
- 2015: 100 m Butterfly at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 200 m Butterfly at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 400 m Freestyle at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 800 m Freestyle at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 1500 m Freestyle at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 4*100 m Relay freestyle at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2016: 200 m Butterfly at South Asian Games, India
- 2016: 1500 m Freestyle at South Asian Games, India
- 2016: 1500 m Freestyle at South Asian Games, India
- 2017: 200 Butterfly at Asian Age Group, Tashkent
- 2015: 200 m Freestyle at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2015: 4*100 m Relay Medley at 35TH Indian National Games, Kerala
- 2017: 100m Butterfly at Asian Indoor Games, Ashgabat
- 2017: 800 Freestyle at Asian Age Group, Tashkent
- 2021: 200m Butterfly at Belgrade Swimming meet
- 2017: 400 m Freestyle at Asian Age Group, Tashkent
- 2017: 100m Butterfly at Asian Age Group, Tashkent
- 2017: 4X200m Relay at Asian Age Group, Tashkent
- First Indian swimmer to qualify for finals at the 2018 Asian Games in 200m Butterfly in 32 years.
- First Indian Swimmer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.
- First Indian swimmer to breach the FINA “A” Olympic qualification time.
- Only Indian male swimmer to participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- He holds a record for bagging 6 Gold medals and 3 Silver medals at the National Games.
- Swimmer(s): Michael Phelps, Daiyo Seto
- Games: Tennis
- Food: Sushi, Dosa
- Sajan Prakash likes spending his leisure time watching movies and playing tennis.
- Sajan Prakash is employed as an Officer Commanding the Kerala Police.
- Sajan Prakash holds a total of 10 National, 3 South Asian and 1 Asian record to his name.
- Initially, Sajan used to practice in the freestyle stroke but later on his coach Pradeep Kumar’s recommendation he also began practising butterfly strokes. In an interview with a national newspaper he said,
I had a 50:50 belief when I first changed from free to fly. At the end of the day, we made it happen. I still do freestyle. I had some issues with my left shoulder where I had no power to pull initially. But slowly I developed strength around the arm and the neck. It is much better. When I can swim this OQT, I think I have regained all the strength from the past.”
- When asked from whom does he withdraw his inspiration, he said,
I learn from my role models and take the good qualities from the people when they do good and also learn from others not to make the same mistakes that others did. It is not necessarily about learning from the greats. Even the common people have been some of my biggest inspirations.”
- Sajan Prakash devotes all the credit to his coach Pradeep Kumar for motivating him in achieving his goal in his career. He said,
You won’t believe, sometimes I would not want to do it and he makes me do it. That built the confidence in our workouts. Sometimes, I felt like not wanting to do anything but Pradeep sir has this magic to make us do it and survive those workouts. And when you are in worse conditions and do it, you gain confidence. When you are fresh and go into a race, it helps you so much.”
- Sajan Prakash faced a lot of difficulties during his career and getting himself trained for the international level. He said swimming as a sport in India does not get the kind of attention it needs. Sajan in an interview revealed,
The facilities are not enough. They are not that bad, though. We need to have a process where we should have a national team working consistently together with everyone – the coach, physios, masseurs, etc. – coming together. If we are consistently into that process, our body adapts to them and that’s when excellence happens. We are all doing these things individually. The federation is doing its best. As swimming is not so recognised in India, we don’t get that much support from the government. Now that I have started something two days back (meeting OQT), it has to progress from here. There is no looking back. The young swimmers have progressed very well. If we have the best scientific facilities in India, we don’t have to go elsewhere and athletes won’t have to face anything financially. Better for us if we can train peacefully in India.”
- Sajan Prakash has featured in a documentary film called “Lane 0.” The short documentary film focuses on the struggles faced by swimmers in developing countries. He appeared as himself in the film showcasing his struggles during his journey.
- Sajan Prakash has an interest in learning about sports science thus he got himself enrolled for the online course of masters in sports science at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.
- After setting a new national record of becoming the first Indian swimmer to directly qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Sajan received many good wishes from people across the country. Indian Sports minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter and Kerela Police posted on their Instagram account congratulating Sajan for his achievement.