H.Abdul Salam, the man with one leg who returned with six medals from recently concluded State level masters swimming meet

H. Abdul Salam’s dream, turned into a nightmare when he lost his right leg in an accident in 2003. The son of a farmer took up a lecturer’s job with NAS Catering institute in Madurai. But what he kept at unfailingly was four hours of swimming every day to keep himself fit for every tournament.

One among four siblings, Abdul Salam’s life was running smooth after he finished his degree in hotel management and masters in tourism management by 2000. Three years later, the accident grounded him and he turned to teaching. That was the time when he also decided to take up swimming as a hobby. But with the arrival of Vijay Kumar, swimming coach for Madurai, in April 2011, Abdul Salam's life changed.

Vijay Kumar took him under his wings and trained him for two hours a day at the MGR swimming pool. With his encouragement, Abdul went on to swim for six hours a day in three months time. Then came a time when he showed interest in participating in competitions. Initially Abdul was keen on taking part in the physically challenged category. But his coach felt he was fast enough to compete with the best.

Things started rolling at the District open meet in August 2011 at Madurai where Abdul Salam won two medals and followed it up with two more medals in the District open meet this February in Madurai.

"The recent win in Chennai has given me a lot of self belief and I am much more confident of going into the National masters championships at Bhopal this October. Whatever I am today is because of my coach who instilled this belief in me. I will always be grateful to him" he says. One look at him and you know that he is poised for greater deeds. This is just the beginning of what should be an exciting few years for the man who defied all odds to make it big in a sport where two legs are used to kick the water.