Assault no deterrent for India swimmer | india | Hindustan Times
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Assault no deterrent for India swimmer

Sports is not just about winning. It’s about the ability of athletes to overcome tragedy and unseen obstacles and still come up with their best.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2010 00:34 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Sports is not just about winning. It’s about the ability of athletes to overcome tragedy and unseen obstacles and still come up with their best.

India’s MB Balakrishnan may have failed to reach the final of the 50m backstroke final, but the 21-year-old from Chennai proved to himself and the world that not even an assault just 28 days before the Games was going to deter him.

The 50m and 100m backstroke national champion finished sixth in the semifinal heat with a timing of 27.26 seconds, which was below his personal best of 26.96 sec recorded at the same venue during the test event in August. However, Balaskrishnan’s performance is commendable since his participation was unsure till a fortnight ago.

An unidentified assailant had attacked the swimmer near his house last month and he was hospitalised for a week. He suffered a cut on the back of his head and also injured his hand and leg and still feels pain in the right shoulder.

“He had five stitches on his head and could not enter the pool for about 12 days after the attack,” coach, T Chandrashekar, told HT from Chennai.

“We decided not to send him to the camp after he was discharged from the hospital as we also had to monitor his progress and I feel proud with whatever he achieved today,” he added.

Balakrishnan will also participate in the 100 metre butterfly and the 4x100 metre medley relay.