Thanyapura’s scholarship swimmer, 23 years old Niranjan ‘Niru’ Mukund, broke the Asian record at the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series “Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaften Swimming Berlin”, in Germany yesterday (June 7). He finished his 200 m backstroke within 03:16:01, which has made him the newest holder of Asia’s record in this category.
Mukund was born with spina bifida and clubbed feet. As a result, he has muscles weakness in his legs and has undergone 16 surgeries. The swimmer, from Bangalore, India, started his swimming journey in 2003 at the Jayanagar Swimming Pool following his doctor’s advice that he should do sports, such as horse riding and swimming, to strengthen his legs.
From a hobby to get healthier and stronger, swimming has become his routine and career. He swims six hours and does two hours of gym work and conditioning each day because he believes that “Dedication, determination and hard work are the keys to success.”
His strong commitment has built him a path to the world leagues. He won 10 medals in 10 events at the 2015 IWAS World Junior Games in Stadskanaal, The Netherlands, and claimed bronze in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea. He was named the 2016 Sportsman of the Year by the Sports Writers Association of Bangalore [SWAB] in India. In 2016, he received the Ekalavya Award from the state of Karnataka in India, in recognition of his performances in Para swimming and was also awarded the National Award for Best Para Sportsperson of the Year in 2015 by the Government of India.
Lately, he received a scholarship from Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort, where he met his mentor, Miguel Lopez Alvarado, Head Coach of the aquatics academy, who has gained more than 20 years of experience as a swimming coach at elite level, steering able-bodied and disabled swimmers to great heights.
Miguel’s career is expansive. He has trained Olympians and Paralympians, but at heart it is his pure love for the sport that motivates him each day; a motivation that he passes on his swimmers.
Mukund also set his goal to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.