There is still time for the swimmers who seek qualification for the Paralympics in London, but Prasanta Karmakar has opted out of the race.
The only India swimmer ever to have won a medal in the Commonwealth Games, the 31-year-old Prasanta had nursed dreams of Olympic participation and had recently visited the US in pursuit of Olympic qualification.
However, on hearing from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) that only one Indian swimmer would be accepted for the Paralympics in London, the gutsy swimmer with two Asian Games medals in Guangzhou has decided to step aside and make way for the young Sharath Gayakwad, the only Indian paralympic swimmer who has achieved the qualification mark for London.
“Sharath is the future for the sport in India. I may try to compete in triathlon in the next Commonwealth Games,” said Prasanta, who had clocked 27.55 seconds in the US in 50-metre freestyle and 27.65 recently in the Federation Cup in Hyderabad.
The Arjuna Awardee, who needed to come under 27 seconds to make the cut, said that he would be spending time with family and decide his priorities.
Prasanta said that he would try to meet the Haryana Chief Minister as there was no follow-up on the offer of a police job for him from the government. He said that it was important for him to be placed in a good job so that para athletes across the country would take up to sports with confidence.