"Proud Moment": Kerala police officer qualified for Tokyo Olympics
On Saturday, Sajan Prakash, a police officer from Kerala, became the first Indian swimmer to achieve the Olympic ‘A' qualification mark. Mr Prakash clocked an impressive 1:56.38 - 0.1 second less than the qualification standard - in the 200-metre butterfly event in Rome at the Setti Colli Trophy to automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Kerala Police tweeted about the 26-year-old swimmer's achievement on its official handle and said that it was "a proud moment" for the country. What makes his achievement even more special is that over the past couple of years, Mr Prakash battled a slipped disc in the neck.
Even the Swimming Federation of India tweeted about Mr Prakash's feat on its official handle, calling it a “watershed moment in Indian swimming”, while also sharing a video of the qualification event.
Among those who congratulated Prakash was industrialist Anand Mahindra.
In his tweet, Mr Mahindra hoped that this signalled "a new era of participation by Indians in the top rungs of the sport". On a lighter note, Mr Mahindra added, "And I'm particularly envious. I've been swimming since childhood but still haven't mastered the rhythm of the Butterfly stroke! Anyone with some tips to make it easier?"
There were other congratulatory messages as well. While one user, Sudhirr Nayar, wrote "go for the gold", another user, Nazar, said it was a "proud moment" for India as well as Kerala.