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Indian Swimmers At Tokyo Olympics 2021


Indian Swimmers At Tokyo Olympics 2021

 Written by Shamli S Pardeshi (Std. X Abhinav Vidyalay)

Edited by Harsh M

Fact checked by Harsh M


India won 7 medals in Tokyo Olympics 2021. There were a lot of participants who qualified for the Olympics but couldn't win the medal. Indian swimmers who qualified for the Olympics were Srihari Nataraj,  Sajan Prakash and Maana Patel, respectively. 

Sajan Prakash, a 27-year-old swimmer from Kerala represented India at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 as well as Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Sajan Prakash is an inspector in Kerala Police. He is training under the guidance of S. Pradeep Kumar. He had a neck injury and was struck in Thailand during the pandemic. He is the first Indian swimmer to break the Olympic “A” qualification mark. He qualified in the men's 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly stroke. Sajan Prakash finished 2nd in his heat with the timing of 53.45sec in men’s 100m butterfly stroke but the timing was not enough to proceed to the semifinals. He said, “I’ve worked very hard for this moment! I had set a target and I achieved it. There are many people who provided me with a support system, to be able to achieve this, and I’m glad I didn’t let them down,. Sajan Prakash has been recommended for the Arjuna Award by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI). 

Srihari Nataraj, from Bangalore, Karnataka, made his debut at Olympics, also qualified for Olympics by breaking the Olympic “A” qualification timing. Srihari Nataraj was coached by AC Jayarajan, he is currently training under the guidance of coach Nihar Ameen at Dolphin Aquatics in Bangalore.  Natraj placed 5th in his heat in a 100m backstroke event with the timing of 53.31sec but again the 20-year-old was not enough to progress to the semifinals. Natraj is expected to treat this as preparation for the next Olympics in Paris 2024. "It was fine and not so great at the same time. I felt ready for the race but I didn’t feel like it clicked. Maybe I let the pressure get to me. I am disappointed but I can live with it," he said after his race. He also added that Covid 19 pandemic affected their training a lot as the swimming pools were completely closed for a long period of time.


21 year old, Maana Patel from Ahmedabad, Gujarat also made her debut in Tokyo Olympics by qualifying via universality quota which allows one male and one female competitor from a country to participate in Olympics. She was trained by coach Kamlesh Nanavati at Gujarat Vidyapeeth Swimming Center and is currently coached at Glenmark Aquatic Foundation in Mumbai under coach Peter Carswell. She swam the women's 100m backstrokes with the timing of 1.05sec. "I am pretty happy because it was my best time … Going into the heat I was really fidgety and shivering, frankly. All the emotions piled up and I was overwhelmed," She said after her race. Asked about the impact of covid 19 pandemic on their training she said, “Though the pandemic and the lockdown was a blessing in disguise as it helped me recuperate well, then later the frustration crept in. I am not used to staying away from the water for this long.” 

There are 4 strokes in Swimming: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle. The strokes which they got selected for were Butterfly and Backstroke. The butterfly is a swimming stroke swum on the chest, with both arms moving symmetrically, accompanied by a dolphin kick. During this stroke, you engage your core muscles, arms, and upper back muscles to keep your body stable as you move your arms and legs simultaneously. The butterfly stroke is one of the most difficult swimming strokes because it requires precise technique in addition to a good rhythm.  Backstroke is only the swimming stroke that is swum on the back. During backstroke, you use alternating and opposite arm movements with normal kicks. While swimming backstroke, your body should roll from side to side, between 30° and 45° from a flat position. Backstroke is great for improving your body posture as it tones your arms, legs, shoulders. It also helps to improve your hip flexibility. 


The swimmers not only represented India in the Olympics but also the other international championships like Commonwealth championships, World Championships, Asian Games etc. Prakash, Natraj and Patel did a great swim at the Olympics. If they added just a little more effort then all the three of them would have made it to the finals. They missed their chance to get into finals just by milliseconds. The covid-19 pandemic also affected a lot of the training of athletes. India was hit hard by the pandemic resulting in lockdown for a long time. The swimming pools were also closed due to which the swimmers were not able to get proper training. Let us hope the athletes perform well in the upcoming 2024 Olympics and make India more proud.  

Thank you for reading

Links for pictures:-

1. Sajan prakash

2. Srihari Nataraj

3 .Maana patel


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