National swimming champ and Commonwealth Games 2010 prospect M.B. Balakrishnan (21) of Chennai was assaulted by two unidentified persons near his house on Sunday morning. A police investigation is underway.

Speaking to The Hindu from his hospital bed, Balakrishnan said he was heading to swimming practice from his home in Jayalakshmi Colony, Shenoy Nagar, on his motorcycle around 6.20 a.m. “I reached 8th Cross Street and 2nd Main Road junction when a man swung a cricket stump and hit me on my head. I collapsed. His accomplice ran in with a stump and the two started hitting me on my arms and legs,” he said.

Nearby autorickshaw drivers and onlookers rushed to Balakrishnan's rescue as the two attackers fled.

He suffered injuries to his head, hands and leg and was later admitted to a private hospital in Arumbakkam. He will take at least two weeks to recover, doctors said.

The swimmer said that he received no personal threat earlier or has any personal rivalry.

Balakrishnan, who excels in backstroke, is the national champion in the 50 metres and 100 metres, and is one of the two swimmers selected from Tamil Nadu to represent India in the CWG.

His selection to the games in Delhi was announced on August 29 following his record-breaking performance at the Senior National Championships in Jaipur last month.