5 gold medals in his kitty, swimmer Kurian set for international masters meet

As a busy banker in the Standard Chartered Bank (both in India and abroad), the National Bank of Kuwait and the Gulf Bank of Kuwait, he had to keep dormant his passion for swimming.
 Kurian Jacob
Kurian Jacob

KOCHI : Bagging gold medals in each swimming event that he competed, Kurian Jacob -- a resident of Thidanad, near Erattupetta in Kottayam district -- turned heads at the Pan India Federation Cup National Masters Games held in Hyderabad over the past three days.

The septuagenarian won five gold medals -- in 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and 50m breaststroke events. He also became the individual champion in the 70 to 75 age category. The performance also helped Kurian book a slot in the international masters’ meet slated to be held in Australia in November.

“I was competing with 5 to 12 professional swimmers in each of my events. The exposure, which I breathe on the big platform with around 300 contestants, was something great,” Kurian said. “I had gained tremendous confidence from my five-medal performance (three silver and two bronze) in the European Masters Games held in Finland in 2023,” he said. Kurian explained his entry into the scene thus: “The Manimala river flows along the sides of my house at Kanjirappally. I learned the basics of swimming from there during my school days.”

As a busy banker in the Standard Chartered Bank (both in India and abroad), the National Bank of Kuwait and the Gulf Bank of Kuwait, he had to keep dormant his passion for swimming. After returning home in 2019, he dusted off his passion and started training in the pool. “Other than a rough swimming pattern, I didn’t know much about professional swimming those days. Further research and studies are happening through YouTube videos,” Kurian said.

“Freestyle swimming is comparatively easy, whereas the breaststroke is a big task,” he added. On the reasons that kept him in the swimming pool, Kurian said, “Swimming is the best way to maintain health. As an extra competition mode comes to it, the delight doubles. I get information about various competitions mainly through my network and via news.”

Now, he is focusing on the upcoming Summer World Masters Games, scheduled to be held in Taiwan.

“I want to give a better performance there,” Kurian said.

His family, comprising wife Sunu and daughters Anu and Nisha, has always stood with Kurian in his wonderful journey to fulfil his swimming dreams.

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