TASHKENT: India’s top swimmer Sajan Prakash clinched the gold in the 200m butterfly event at the Uzbekistan Open Championship, but a Tokyo Olympics qualifying ‘A’ standard eluded him on Tuesday.
The Kerala swimmer, who has already achieved the Olympics ‘B’ mark in 200m butterfly, clocked 1.57.85s to bag the top honours in the Olympic qualifying event. The Olympics ‘A’ cut for 200m butterfly is 1:56.48s.
“Today was a good sign of improvement. We did the best we could do. There are a few things I need to work on, like the front speed,” Prakash told PTI.
“This is not my peak yet, when I peak after some skill sharpening, after that I think it (A mark) will happen. I have to be patient for that,” he added.
Prakash was last seen in the pool at the Latvian Open last month where he finished on top of the podium in the 200m butterfly, clocking 1:59.31s.
The 27-year-old, who has been constantly improving his timing, is optimistic about breaching the elusive mark.
“We still have two months to go. I will be competing in Monaco next month, there is one more event in France in June and after that we have our Nationals.”
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) development group swimmer Kenisha Gupta won the other gold of the day for India.
Competing in the women’s 100m freestyle event, Kenisha clocked 57.42 while the seasoned Shivani Kataria bagged the bronze medal with an effort of 59.62s.
In the men’s 100m freestyle event, Anand AS (51.95s) won the bronze medal while Adhithya D (52.07s) finished fourth. Both swimmers registered their personal best timings.