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GAYAKWAD Sharath
Sport Para swimming
NPC India   
GenderMen
Age29
Place of BirthBangalore, IND
Height1.80 m
Weight 73 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S8, SB8, SM8
Further Personal Information
Residence
Bengaluru, IND
Occupation
Athlete, Business Owner, Coach, Director
Languages
English, Hindi, Kannada
Higher education
Communications, Journalism - Jain University: Bengaluru, IND
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport at age nine at the PM Swimming Centre in Bangalore, India.
Why this sport?
"The more I swam, the more I loved it."
Name of coach
John Christopher [personal], IND, from 2004
General Interest
Hobbies
Watching television and films, socialising with friends. (parentcircle.com, 03 Dec 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning six medals at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea, and competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (gamatics.in, 02 Nov 2015)
Most influential person in career
Coach John Christopher. (thebridge.in, 16 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. (sportswallah.com, 24 Feb 2019)
Injuries
He suffered from a recurring injury in 2015. (sportskeeda.com, 13 Feb 2016)

He competed with an injured shoulder at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea. (timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 27 Oct 2014)

In 2009 he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for more than two months. (dnaindia.com, 14 Apr 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The world's greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focused on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts." (gamatics.in, 19 Sep 2015)
Awards and honours
He was presented with the Arjuna Award in 2015 by Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the president of India. (gamatics.in, 19 Sep 2015)

In 2013 he received a Rajyotsava Award from the Karnataka Government in India, and a Kempegowda Award from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike [BBMP] in India. (gamatics.in, 19 Sep 2015)

He was given an Ekalavya Award in 2007 by the Karnataka Government. (gamatics.in, 19 Sep 2015)

He received the 2004 National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement from the government of India. (gamatics.in, 19 Sep 2015)
Milestones
He became the first Indian Para athlete to win six medals at one edition of the Asian Para Games, after winning one silver and five bronze medals at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea. (sportskeeda.com, 27 Oct 2014)
Impairment
He was born with an underdeveloped left hand. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2015)
Other information
OCCUPATION
He is the co-founder and director of online swim store Gamatics India, based in Bangalore. In 2017 he was named by Forbes magazine as one of their 'Superachievers' under the age of 30 in Asia. (Facebook profile, 02 Feb 2019; espn.co.uk, 15 Aug 2017; gamatics.in, 02 Nov 2015)

COACH
He coaches swimming at the Pooja Aquatics Centre in Bangalore, India. "I am excited to be a coach, but it has come with a price. I am now responsible for various other athletes and the stress is far more. I am not sleeping as much as I used to but the dream is further enhanced. I might have reached the Paralympics, now I want one of my students to win a medal there." (thriveglobal.in, 05 Feb 2019; Facebook profile, 02 Feb 2019)

THOUGHTS OF RETIREMENT
In 2014 he was contemplating retirement after missing out on a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He decided not to retire after former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid persuaded him to keep swimming competitively. "I was having a lot of trouble concentrating on my career and Rahul's wise words helped me a lot. We were in touch through emails and his tips on how to build partnerships and be a team player has definitely helped me become a better sportsperson." (timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 27 Oct 2014)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Heats 2012 100m Butterfly S8 1:07.12
Heats 2012 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:18.20
Heats 2012 50m Freestyle S8 28.98
Heat 2012 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:38.17
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
12 2010 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:47.12
10 2010 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:22.03
12 2010 50m Freestyle S8 29.48
14 2010 100m Butterfly S8 1:12.38
Heat 2013 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:42.92
7 2013 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:18.81
Heats 2013 100m Butterfly S8  DNS
Heats 2013 50m Freestyle S8 30.02
Heats 2015 100m Butterfly S8 1:09.22
Heats 2015 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:21.25
Heats 2015 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:41.56
Heats 2015 100m Backstroke S8 1:18.43
Heats 2015 50m Freestyle S8 29.92
Commonwealth Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
5 2010 100m Freestyle S8 1:04.18
4 2014 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:37.17
Asian Para Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014 200m Individual Medley SM8 2:38.71
9 2014 400m Freestyle S8 5:44.69
3 2014 100m Butterfly S8 1:08.30
4 2014 100m Freestyle S8 1:08.29
3 2014 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:18.43
3 2014 100m Backstroke S8 1:15.34
3 2014 4 x 100m Medley Relay 34 Points 5:23.32
3 2014 50m Freestyle S8 30.64
6 2018 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:23.36
4 2018 100m Backstroke S8 1:18.86