Incheon: Para-swimmer Sharath Gayakwad scripted history at the Asian Para-Games in Incheon, Korea by winning six medals to go past sprint legend P T Usha's record of most medals by an Indian in a multi-discipline event.
"London 2012 Paralympian swimmer Sharath Gayakwad created history at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, by winning 6 medals for India. In doing so, Sharath created a new Indian record for winning the most medals at a multi-discipline event, previously held by PT Usha (5 medals at the 1986 Asian Games)," a release stated.
Sharath began his campaign by winning a silver medal in the 200m Individual Medley event. He followed it up by winning bronze medals in 100m butterfly, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, and the 50m freestyle.
Finally, Sharath, along with teammates Prasanta Karmakar, Swapnil Patil and Niranjan Mukundan, won another bronze medal in the 4x100m Medley Relay. Sharath's unique feat saw him win medals on all days of the competition.
An excited Sharath said, "I'm extremely happy about my performance at the Games. For the past six months, I, along with the other swimmers have trained hard for this competition, and it feels great when our hard work pays off.
"I would like to thank my parents for their constant support, John (Christopher) sir for years of guidance and encouragement, GoSports Foundation for their support, and all others who have helped me so far, including Speedo, and my fellow swimmers at the pool."
Coach John Christopher was equally delighted.
"Sharath has performed exceptionally well. I'm extremely proud of his performance, more so because he has overcome a serious shoulder injury to achieve these results. With GoSports Foundation's support, he is being mentored by Rahul Dravid, whose advice has helped Sharath immensely.
"I'm also delighted with the performance of Niranjan Mukundan, who was part of the medal winning relay team, and finished 4th in the 200m IM. Both Sharath and Niranjan have been very committed and we have trained sincerely for the Asian Games. I'm happy that we have the results to show for our efforts," he added.