A day after becoming the first Indian swimmer to achieve a direct Olympic qualification, Sajan Prakash set the new men’s 200m freestyle national record at the Sette Colli Trophy 2021 in Rome, Italy, on Sunday. Prakash clocked 1:49.73 in the heats at the FINA-accredited Olympic qualifiers, bettering 2010 Asian Games bronze medalist Virdhawal Khade’s previous national mark of 1:49.86. Prakash has recently made record breaking earnings. This is his third national mark this month.
On Saturday, he created history by becoming the first Indian swimmer to cross the Olympic qualifying time (OQT) by breaking a record of 1:56:38 seconds in the men’s 200m butterfly event. With the historic sprint, Prakash rewrote his own national record of 1:56.96, which he set last week at the Belgrade Trophy swimming competition. Sajan Prakash will be heading for his second Summer Games at Tokyo 2020. Having sealed his place at Tokyo 2020 with a quality performance in the 200m butterfly on Saturday, the Indian will be hoping to improve on his performance at the Olympics from five years ago. The Kerala swimmer had made it to the Rio Games in 2016 under the universality quota and finished 28th among the 29 competing swimmers. Though the Indian had set a then national record with his swim at Rio 2016, the timing was not enough to make it past the heats.