New Delhi: Mohammad Anas becomes the first Indian after 42 years to win men’s 400M in Continental Championship on Friday night at Kalinga Stadium. The last man to achieve the feat was Sriram Singh in 1975.
Amused with his achievement at the Asian Athletics Championship, he said: “I had no clue about that achievement. Only this morning, when I saw the newspapers, did I realise that no one other than the two of us had won the 400M gold all these years.”
Despite the unfavourable weather and he had already run three races in the championship, including a re-run of the semifinal on Friday morning, he was able to achieve the feat. “I could have run much better in the final but it was very tough after the semifinal the previous night and the re-run in the morning,” said the 22-year-old sailor in Indian Navy. “I could have clocked a much better timing too (than the 45.77 he did in the final),” he said, report DH.
Anas hails from Nilamel in Kerala’s Kollam district and was a long jumper in the beginning. He was then asked by his pre-university coach to switch to the one-lap race. Anas’ career got accelerated after taking guidance under Jaya Kumar at Sreekrishna College in Guruvayoor.
A second-place in All-India inter-university meet and subsequent performances brought him to national reckoning. Under coach Mohd Kunhi at the Indian camp, he improved further. “The best moment came when I qualified for the Olympic Games in Poland last year. To break the national record two times (45.44 and 45.40) and qualify for the Olympics was a great feeling,” he said.
A back injury at the Federation Cup last month then proved to be a setback, forcing him to pull out after the heats, raising a stir. “I had been having this back issue but some people interpreted it differently. I am much better now after treatment,” he said.