Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Meet Shams Aalam from Bihar who receives two world No.1 rankings at Reykjavik Games

Mohammad Shams Aalam Shaikh won 6 gold medals at the Reykjavik International Games held at Laugardalslaug Iceland from 26-28 January 2024, whilst representing India.

Aalam has ranked no. 1 in men’s 100m butterfly stroke and men’s 50m breaststroke, according to World Para Swimming’s official world rankings for 2024.

In Iceland last month, Shams Alam won 6 medals, including one gold in 200m individual medley, one silver medal in 50m and 100m breaststroke and butterfly stroke, and three bronze medals in 50m and 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly stroke.

Aalam also broke Herojit Singh and Shreekant Desai’s time records in 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke, respectively.

In his interview with TOI, Alam seemed confident that he’d qualify for the Paris Paralympic Games 2024 by meeting the Paralympic time requirements soon enough. He will also be participating in the National Paralympic Games scheduled in March this year, in Gwalior. 

“I am yet to reach the Paralympic qualification mark with my timings at Reykjavik but I am confident that I will get enough opportunities to secure a berth at the Paris Games. The National Games will be my next shot at the Paris quota,” Aalam said in his interview with the Times of India.

Mohammad Shams Aalam is a 37-year-old, paraplegic swimmer, who holds the world record in the longest open sea swimming by a paraplegic individual.

Born in Bihar, Alam was interested in sports as a child, particularly karate and swimming. However, after a spinal cord injury in 2010, Alam took up professional swimming and even went on to represent India at the Asia Para Games in 2018. 

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