Name of the sportsperson: Sachin Nag
Date of Birth: July 5, 1920
Died: August 19, 1987
State: Uttar Pradesh (later represented West Bengal)
• In 1951 Asian Games in 100 meter free style swimming, Nag became the fastest swimmer by winning the gold medal for India.
• In other events of swimming in that Asian Games he also bagged the bronze medals in 400 meter free-style relay and 300 metres medlay relay
• He made a new record of 1 min and 4 second breaking his own record of 1 min 4.2 sec
• He was selected both in swimming and water polo events. He was the best water polo player of India and indeed he had no equal in that game in the country at that time.
• In 1938 he won the 1st prize in 6 km swimming competition on river Ganges.
• 1938 in Bengal state level swimming competition at College Square, Kolkata, Sachin Nag won the 1st place defeating Madan Singh and Rajaram Sahu in 100 & 400 meter free style competition.
• 1945 Nag’s Hatkhola club got invitation for playing against British Team at Victoria Memorial’s swimming pool and they defeated the British team 15-1 goal, Sachin Nag alone scored 6 goals to become the league champion
• In the year 1948 water polo games in London Olympic, India defeated Chili by 7-4 goals, Nag alone scored 4 goals.
• He was 11 times state champion and three times national champion and the first Asian champion
Sachin Nag was born on 5 July 1920 in Varanasi in a Bengali family. It is said that in 1930 during the nationwide freedom movement, to escape the atrocities of the police this young boy jumped into the river Ganges. At the very time 10KM swimming competition was under progress and he too joined the swimming group. When the competition ended, the crowd was surprised to see that the Kashi Maharaj himself came forward and handed over the third prize to the boy. Crowd wanted to know the young boy’s name but as his name was not listed, the organizing committee could not tell his name. But later on, this boy became the swimming legend of the country and represented India in Olympic twice and became the first Asian champion swimmer. He broke his own records in National and State level competitions again and again. He was an unparalleled swimmer of his time and was the fastest Asian swimmer of his time.
Between 1930-36, Sachin dominated the swimming competition in Varanasi and soon caught the attention of Jamini Das of Hatkhola Club, Kolkata. He invited Sachin to his Kolkata residence. Jamini Das himself was a good swimmer and water polo player and was the captain of Indian water-polo team in 1948, London Olympics.
Sachin Nag moved to Kolkata permanently in1937 and in that very year he won the second place in the 10 km swimming competition in river Ganges. In 1938 he won the first prize in 6 km swimming competition in river Ganges.
During those times short distance swimming was not popular in Kolkata, Sachin Nag played the initial leading role in spreading that style of swimming. In 1938, in the Bengal state level swimming at College Square, Kolkata, Sachin defeated the stalwarts swimmers like Madan Singh and Rajaram Sahu in 100 & 400 meter free style competitionand that heralded a new era in Indian swimming.
In 1940 Bhowanipore Swimming Association organized 24th annual swimming competition and Sachin covered 100 meters in 1 min 2-2/5 sec which was a new record. In this race he beat the well known swimmer Rajaram Sawoo, while in 400 meters Nag defeated the all India champion Madan Sinha. Sachin Nag’s record was unbroken for long 31years. He was the only swimmer in national and state level who broke his own record again and again.
In the year 1944 national swimming competition was held in Lahore’s Mint Park, where in the water polo competition Sachin Nag scored four goals for Bengal to defeat Mumbai in 6-5. In 100 meter’s, 400 meters and also in relay, Sachin Nag bagged the gold. During that year in Mumbai, Cricket Association of India also organized swimming competition where he emerged as the champion.
Nag’s Hatkhola club got invitation for playing against British Team in 1945 at Victoria Memorial’s swimming pool and they defeated the British team 15-1 with Sachin scoring six goals and in the same invitation water polo league Hatkhola defeated U.S.Forces by 13-4 goals.
In the Maccabia Games in Telaviv on 4 October 1950, India beat Belgium by 7-0 goals and also beat to England by 4-3 goals and finished third.
The swimming legend was neglected by the authority of Swimming Federation of India and used to feel sad in his later years. The authorities did not find the champion worth enough for recognition. During 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, Nag didn’t receive any invitation until media took up the issue to the authorities concerned. And this was despite the fact that in the Asiad Village a block was built in his name “Sachin Nag Block”.
In the year 1987, 19 August morning in Command Hospital at Alipore, Kolkata, this great sportsman’s journey of life came to an end.
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