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Commonwealth Games

Meet para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar - The only Indian swimmer to win a Commonwealth Games medal

After securing bronze in 50m freestyle swimming at the 2010 CWG, Prasanta Karmakar became the only Indian swimmer to win a Commonwealth Games medal for swimming.

Meet para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar - The only Indian swimmer to win a Commonwealth Games medal

Prasanta Karmakar


Palash Srivastava

Updated: 2 July 2022 12:59 PM GMT

The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi saw the rise of great superstars in Indian Sports. Indian players displayed their best performance by securing 101 medals which includes 38 gold, 27 silver, and 36 bronze. This was India's first time with more than 100 medals in the quadrennial event.

Among the many who created history in Delhi was Prasanta Karmarkar. Till date Karmakar's bronze in 50m Freestyle is India's only Commonwealth Games medal in swimming.

But, do you know Prasanta Karmakar was a para-swimmer?

His right arm was amputated early on in his life and he didn't have any swimming clothes before two months of the Delhi games. But, the then 29-year-old swam across all odds to clinch the only medal for India in swimming that year.

He was placed third with the timing of 27.48s running behind Mathew Cowdrey from Australia, who posted the World record of 25.33 seconds in men's 50m freestyle swimming while securing the gold medal.

The Delhi Games was just the start for this Indian swimmer. He later went on to a silver medal in 50m freestyle and bronze in 200m individual medley at the 2010 Asian Games. He also holds the Asian record in 50m butterfly, 50m Backstroke, and 50m Breastroke. He has represented India internationally for over 13 years and collected 44 medals for India in Paralympic swimming.

After retiring from active sports, he became first coach for the Indian Paralympic Swimming team at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Prasanta Karmarkar was honoured with the Arjuna award in 2011. He is also a Major Dhyan Chand Sports Awardee (2015), Bhim Awardee(2014), Kolkata Shree Awardee (2010), and Swimmer of the year Award 2010, 2011, and 2014.

No Indian swimmer - able bodied or para, has managed to replicate Prasanta Karmakar's feat of winning a Commonwealth Games medal in Swimming even more than 12 years after his bronze in Delhi.

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