#NewsBytesExclusive: National record-holder Muhammed Anas talks about his journey
India have been slowly and steadily rising in the field of athletics. This rise presents a strong future for many individuals wanting to make it big in this field. Among a few rising athletes, national record-holder Muhammed Anas has gone on to make a name for himself. Speaking exclusively to NewsBytes, Anas opened up about his journey and the state of athletics in India.
What do you need to know about Muhammed Anas?
Muhammed Anas Yahiya is a sprinter, who mostly competes in 400m races. He holds the national record (45.24 sec), which he scripted in 2018. He is the third Indian male athlete, after Milkha Singh and KM Binu, to qualify for Olympics (Rio 2016). He won three silvers during the 2018 Asian Games. He started his career as a long jumper, before switching to sprinting.
Anas started his journey in 2006
Speaking on his journey, Anas said that it all began in 2006 in his village Nilamel in Kerala. Even though there were no proper grounds, he was initially trained by a school teacher. Upon realizing the talent of Anas, the teacher recommended a couple of sports schools to him, following which the sprinter decided to join one of those to begin his athletics career.
Anas highlights his passion that keeps him going
Speaking on how he maintains his fitness, Anas came up with an honest answer, saying, "I just want to be a good sportsperson. This passion is what inspires and drives me to stay fit and healthy at all possible costs."
Anas feels barring infrastructure, India have strong pool of athletes
Talking about India's performance in athletics and areas of improvement, Anas initially pointed out that the nation needs better infrastructure for athletics. Anas also voiced that most of the athletes in villages lack proper guidance, as they are unable to decide where to go, how to train and showcase their talent. However, Anas added that India have a strong pool of athletes.
India are focusing more on athletics
Articulating on the recent changes happening in Indian athletics, Anas praised the work being done to focus more on athletes. Previously, there were hardly any proper tournaments for the Indian athletes. However, the introduction of many tourneys, both in and outside India, have helped the sportsperson to prepare intensively. Also, the competition has driven them to up their game in recent times.
'I just performed my best at Olympics to avoid pressure'
Featuring in an Olympic event often comes with extra attention and the pressure associated with it. The Rio Games may have led to some mental pressure on Anas, but he said that he just focused on performing well to keep everything else at bay. "I just kept performing to my best abilities at Olympics, thus helping myself avoid any undue pressure," Anas voiced.
Anas highlights the pressure he faced during major events
On being asked about pressure during major events, Anas said, "There was pressure during the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, as a lot of people said that I need to finish on the podium. However, my coaches said I don't need to listen to them."
Motivation from coaches has inspired Anas to perform
Speaking on the role of his coaches, Anas said that they have motivated him constantly throughout his career. Personal coach PB Jayakumar, and Mohd. Kunhi have given him regular inputs about his performance, besides helping him to improve upon his strength and will power. They have regularly supported him during his training sessions and also provided him the mental strength to remain focused.
PT Usha inspired Anas to keep going
Anas highlighted the importance of former Indian Olympic legend PT Usha in his life. He voiced that in most of the Indian races, Usha made her presence felt. Also, following the end of every race, the legend would meet him and shower words of inspiration. She would also tell him how to improve his performance and get better in every single upcoming race.
Anas eyes success in IAAF World Relays
While his prime focus would be to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, as of now, he wants to switch his focus to the IAAF World Relays 2019, in Tokyo, from May 11. Following the conclusion of the event, Anas will get proper rest before switching his attention to IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha from September 27 onwards.