Sad none could make Olympics ‘A’ cut, but happy with overall performance: Prakash
India won an impressive 52 medals at the 10th Asian Age Group Championships which included 15 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze.Updated: Sep 28, 2019 20:06 IST
Sajan Prakash was left disappointed after Indian swimmers failed to achieve the ‘A’ cut for the Tokyo Olympics, but said he was happy that the hosts could register their best-ever medals tally in the Asian Age Group Championships here.
India won an impressive 52 medals at the 10th Asian Age Group Championships which included 15 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze.
The Indian swimmers stood tall against the challenge posed by Japan (47 gold, 17 silver, 15 bronze), Thailand (21 gold, 18 silver, 24 bronze), Hong Kong (15 gold, 24 silver and 18 bronze) and China (10 gold, 10 silver, 4 bronze) to win maximum medals for the country in the history of the championships.
In the previous edition held in Uzbekistan, India had won a total of 40 medals, including five gold, 13 silver and 22 bronze.
“There were that josh to win more medal in front of home crowd and the support we got was incredible. It was a very well organised meet compared to what I have seen in the past,” said Prakash, who won four gold and two silver medals.
“(But) It is quite sad that none of us could make the ‘A’ time in front of home crowd but one must understand it was a very short meet with back-to-back events so the recovery time was less. I think we should all just continue to stay focused on our targets and pursue it with all our will,” he added. Prakash, however, was not satisfied with his own performance in the meet.
“In terms of my timing, I am very disappointed with my performance. There was a lot of interruption to my training between March to July when I had to attend training for my job with Kerala Police,” said Prakash, who won the 200m butterfly, his pet event.
“After that I swam the World police meet in China and then the Senior Nationals. I felt quite burnt out during this meet.” Prakash will leave for training in Phuket on September 30 under coach Miguel Lopez. “I will be looking at uninterrupted training for the next four months where there will be heavy load of workout in the first two months and then focus on my power before I start tapering for the Olympic Qualifiers in February or March,” he said.
“I don’t intend to race until then,” added Prakash, who represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Speaking about upcoming swimmers who excelled in this Championships, Prakash heaved praise on Shoan Ganguly and Tanish George Mathew.
“I think Shoan Ganguly (who won 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze) has a really nice stroke and he has great future ahead of him. Tanish is another swimmer who I think did really well. For a 15-year-old to clock 24.94 in 50m butterfly and 2:02 in 200m butterfly is really good timing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Japan added another gold medal to their kitty at the 10th Asian Age Group Championships as their women’s water polo team bagged the yellow metal. They were adjudged winners as they finished on top of the round robin league standings with big wins against China (14-11), Kazakhstan (11-7), Uzbekistan (16-12), Sri Lanka (63-2) and India (22-12).
Uzbekistan, who lost to China on Saturday by a narrow margin (11-12), finished second having won against India (28-5), Kazakhstan (16-11), Sri Lanka (29-8). They lost to gold medal winners Japan 12-16 earlier in the Championships which began on September 24. The bronze medal was bagged by Kazakhstan, who won round robin league matches against China (11-10), India (25-1), Sri Lanka (28-6). They lost matches against Japan (7-11) and Uzbekistan (11-16). Hosts India having won against Sri Lanka (26-3) finished fifth in the overall ranking. In men’s water polo, Anand MS starred in India’s match by scoring four goals against Japan but eventually the hosts lost to Japan 9-18.
First Published: Sep 28, 2019 20:05 IST