SFI nominates Sajan Prakash for Arjuna, Kamlesh Nanavati for Dhyan Chand

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (PTI) Sajan Prakash, first-ever Indian swimmer to achieve a direct qualification for the Olympics, has been recommended for the coveted Arjuna award by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI).

The SFI has also nominated veteran coach Kamlesh Nanavati for the Dhyan Chand Award, for his lifetime contributions to aquatic sports.

While Tapan Panigrahi has been nominated for the Dhronacharya Award (lifetime category) for his contribution towards producing many national and international champions in para swimming as well as able bodied category.

This is the second consecutive year Prakash, who is set to compete in his second Olympics in Tokyo, has been recommended for the Arjuna.

The 27-year-old from Kerala scripted history last week by breaching the 'A' standard time for the Tokyo Games, clocking 1:56:38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly event at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy.

'By making the A qualification for TOKYO 2020 in the 200 meter butterfly event, Sajan Prakash has broken the glass ceiling and goes down in the history of Indian swimming as the 1st Indian to have achieved this feat.

'His achievement will inspire many more swimmers in time to come. We believe this achievement will place Sajan Prakash's nomination for the Arjuna Award at the forefront amongst equals,' SFI Secretary General, Monal Chokshi said in media release.

Nanvati represented India in water polo at many international competitions and subsequently as a swimming coach.

In a career spanning four decades, he has produced numerous national medallists and record holders. He has also made a mark for himself in officiating as 'Director of Competitions' at national and international meets and has remained on the technical committee of FINA for Waterpolo.

'Kamlesh Nanavati has reason to be satisfied today, as Maana Patel who he has coached for the better part of her career becomes the 1st Swimmer from Gujarat to represent India at the Tokyo Olympics.

'Blessed is the coach who has the privilege to witness his or her protegee go on to represent the country at the biggest sports platform in the world,' SFI President, R N Jayaprakash said. PTI APA SSC SSC

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