Sunil Salam is an Indian canoeist. Sunil Salam won the bronze medal at the men’s sprint C-2 1000m canoeing event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Sunil Singh Salam (age 24 years; as of 2023) was born in the Bishnupur district of Manipur, near the Loktak Lake. Sunil Salam joined the Indian Army in 2017 and works as a Havildar in Hyderabad.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Sunil’s father, Iboyaima Singh, works as a fisherman. His mother’s name is Binita Devi. She is a homemaker.
Sunil Salam got into water sports at a very young age. He came from a family where the only source of income was his father’s fisherman job. Speaking about the start of his canoeing journey, Sunil said,
When I started it was very difficult as the boat and other equipment cost a lot. One pedal costs a minimum of Rs 40,000 and a boat costs Rs 4-5 lakh. Initially, my family and relatives chipped in to finance me but after I joined the Indian Army in 2017, I was able to manage myself.”
Sunil says his love for water and water sports comes from growing up near Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. His journey with water sports began when he took his first canoeing lessons at a training centre by the Loktak lake named “Takmu Water Sports Complex”. In 2013, following his aunt’s (who is a canoe coach) advice, he moved to Hyderabad. In 2015, he was selected to attend the national camp and became the national champion in 2016. After training at the Roorkee Army Center, Sunil further sharpened his skills at the Bhopal SAI (Sports Authority Of India) Center under Captain Pijush Baroi, the men’s coach.
Sunil Salam participated in the Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games. Sunil and his teammate participated in the men’s 1000m doubles canoeing event but did not win a medal. Speaking about the 2018 Asian Games, Sunil said,
In 2018, we could have won a medal in the same event but things went haywire after my partner got sick on the day of the competition. We competed but could not do our best.”
Sunil Singh Salam and Arjun Singh started canoeing together in 2023. They participated in the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships held in Duisburg, Germany. The pair reached the finals and came 9th.
Sunil Singh Salam took part in the men’s 1000m doubles canoeing event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China as well. Sunil and Arjun Singh won the bronze medal with a recorded time of 3:53.329 seconds.
Congratulations to Arjun Singh and Sunil Singh Salam for winning the Bronze Medal in the Men’s Canoe Double 1000m event at the Asian Games.
They have made the nation proud with their splendid performance and determination. They have also inspired millions of young Indians to… pic.twitter.com/5jRIpHOSMf
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 3, 2023
The last time an Indian team (consisting of Siji Sadanandan and Johnny Rommel) won an Asian Games medal in the 1000m doubles canoeing event was in 1994 during the Hiroshima Asian Games. Thus, Sunil Salam and Arjun Singh made the second Indian team to win a medal in this category at an Asian Games. The team aims to make it to the 2024 Paris Olympics. According to their coach, Pijush Baroi, for the team to compete, they have to come second during the Olympic qualifiers.
2023: men’s 1000m doubles at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, with Arjun Singh.
Sunil Singh Salam was honoured by the Assam Rifles with backing from the Headquarters Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) at an event held at Sendra, Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district on 17 October 2023.