Asian Games 2018: His kin missing in Kerala deluge, swimmer Sajan Prakash posts best show for India since 1986

Mumbai: Kerala's Sajan Prakash, who on Sunday became the first Indian swimmer in 32 years to qualify for 200-metre butterfly final at the Asian Games, has no clue of his missing family members. Prakash's grandfather, uncle and three other family members are reportedly missing since Thursday from Idukki district of flood-hit Kerala.

File photo of Sajan Prakash. Image courtesy: News18

File photo of Sajan Prakash. Image courtesy: News18

Idukki is among the worst-hit districts of the marooned state, and the missing family stayed near the Cheruthony dam near The Periyar. Last week, the sluice gates of the dam were opened after nearly 25 years due to a steady and dangerous rise in water levels, causing heavy flooding in the area.

Prakash, who stays with his mother Shantymol in Neyveli near Puducherry, became the first Indian since Khazan Singh to make it to the final of the 200-metre butterfly event. Singh achieved the feat at the Seoul Games in 1986, and went on to win a silver medal.

However, there was no podium-finish for Prakash on Sunday, who finished fifth in the eight-men competition. His timing of 1 minute 57.75 seconds though was enough to set the national record.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Prakash's mother chose not to inform the 24-year-old of the tragedy, fearing it would affect his performance.

"But someone at the Games Village told him. So he called me late Saturday night, demanding to know what had happened," Shantymol told the paper. "We have lost everything; our house, land… we aren't able to trace our family."

Prakash will take the pool on Monday in the 4x200-metre freestyle relay, and again on Wednesday in the 100-metre butterfly event.

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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 13:20:04 IST

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