Rediff.com  » Sports » Family kept Kerala flood news away from swimmer Sajan to help him focus

Family kept Kerala flood news away from swimmer Sajan to help him focus

Last updated on: August 22, 2018 09:07 IST
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'I didn't know about the event (floods in Kerala) because my mother kept the news away from me.'

Sajan Prakash

IMAGE: Sajan Prakash is the first Indian swimmer to reach an Asian Games final in 32 years. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

The family of Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash kept news of the devastating flood in his home state of Kerala away from him so that it would not affect his Asian Games performance, the 24-year-old said on Tuesday.

The first Indian swimmer to reach an Asiad final in 32 years, Prakash clocked 1 minute and 57.75 seconds -- a National record but 3.22 seconds behind champion Seto Daiya -- to finish fifth in the men's 200 metres butterfly final on Sunday.

 

Back home, the death toll neared 400 as Kerala continues to battle its worst flood in a century with dozens of people missing and 1.2 million sheltering in relief camps.

"I didn't know about the event because my mother kept the news away from me," Prakash said, at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre.

"I swam my best but unfortunately I missed out... I'm upset because I have been preparing for this event for the last one year without any break."

Media reports in India said five members of his family in Kerala were missing briefly.

His mother, who stays in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, said Prakash kept calling her to enquire about family members after learning about the flood.

"I could not contact others (to share the news of making the final)... My uncle from Dubai said everybody is safe," Prakash said.

The swimmer achieved his personal target timing in Jakarta but felt he could have done even better.

"One minutes 56 seconds was my target, but even that was not inside medal chances... I'm just not satisfied with my performance," he added.

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Source: REUTERS
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