The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has asked sprinter Muhammed Anas to train in the national camp ahead of the Asian Games despite the player’s willingness to train with his personal coach. The athlete from Kerala had created headlines in CWG after finishing fourth in the 400m final event.
Anas became the first Indian sprinter to take part in 400m final last week since Milkha Singh, who had done it back in 1958 to win the gold medal for the country at the Games. And Anas came extremely close too, clocking 45.31 to break his Indian Grand Prix record of last year. He missed a podium finish by just 0.2 seconds as he finished behind winner Isaac Makwala (44.35), Baboloki Thebe (45.09), and Javon Francis (45.11).
However, all hasn’t been well for the sprinters back home. It was only in the last year when the top quarter-milers, which included Anas, had decided to leave foreign coach Galina Bukharina. Anas decided to train personally in Kerala with Jaikumar, which has evidently borne fruits. And now, with AFI not allowing to train personally, Jaikumar has raised questions.
“I believe the federation should allow him to train closer to his
Anas’ CWG display has made him a household name overnight despite him not clinching any medal and coach Jaikumar revealed that it was the pressure of the first big tournament that eventually got the better of him.
“Since it was his first final at the international level, he was overawed by the field. He failed to judge the pace in the first 200m. Instead of 21.2 secs, he clocked 21.6 secs in the first half of the race. It made the difference on the home stretch as he wasn’t able to push hard. A couple of good races at the international level will certainly add to the confidence and polish Anas’ skills ahead of the Asiad,” Jaikumar added.