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Amiya Mallick is an Indian sprinter from Odisha who holds the national record in the 100-meter clocking 10.26 seconds. The 29-year-old sprinter came into the limelight for the first time after winning a gold medal at the Open National Athletics Championships at Ranchi in 2013, clocking 21.22 seconds to set a new meet record. Already before that precise gold medal, Amiya had shown his mettle by winning the silver medal in 100 meters at the 2006 Junior Asian Meet in Colombo and bronze in 200 meters at Commonwealth Youth Games, clocking 21.33 seconds.
Running at his best form at that time in 2013 Amiya, looking forward to more improvement and trying to reach the international standard took up a big risk of spending lakhs of rupees to make a four-month trip to Kingston in Jamaica in 2014. The whole money was accommodated by him and his father who works in the education department of the state government. Amiya trained under Glen Mills at the Racers Track Club. He still cannot forget the magnificent memory of that four months’ training under Mills, the legendary sprint coach whose guidance produced the World’s some of the best athletes such as Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
Coming back from Kingston, Mallick, having shaped himself under Glen Mills, set the national record in 100 meters on 28 April 2016 during the semifinals of the Federation Cup in New Delhi, clocking 10.26 seconds.
The Attack of Dengue
Amiya Mallick was severely plagued by Dengue early this season, around January. He was hospitalized for 10 days and even after returning with recovery, Amiya started participating in the competitions. He won a gold medal in the Indian Grand Prix in 100 meters as well as a bronze medal in 200 meters. Talking over the phone from his residence in Bhubaneswar Amiya laughingly said,
“I might have recovered from Dengue, but was not cured of the weakness. I was suffering from iron deficiency, cavities, hair-fall started and even sometimes while running I got blacked out. Still, I participated in the competitions.”
The Brave Heart – Amiya Mallick
Amiya has been lion-hearted since his childhood. He remembered,
“I had to face quadriceps injury and had to undergo a severe operation in Kolkata. My leg was almost plastered and I had to do everything on the bed for more than four months. Then also I needed a crutch to walk. Amidst the condition, after a couple of months, I came back to the track and won the gold medal in Open Nationals in Ranchi. That was in 2013. Naturally, this time also I am sure to be completely fit and perform.” Amiya explained, “Since childhood, I had learnt to take up challenges. I was also a performer in my study. My mark sheets were very clean in school. But simultaneously, when I started running and asked my parents if athletics could be my future they were initially anxious but agreed with me only on one condition that I would also be consistent in my study as I was. So, I had to take up the challenge of maintaining both study and training since childhood.”
Amiya’s contract with his USA-based coach Taiwo Ariyo has already been over. Amiya Mallick informed, still he takes his coach’s advice online. But that is not sufficient. The sprinter pointed out,
“Now my one major aim is to break my national record in 100 meters that is to clock below 10.26 seconds. Then I am setting focus to earn qualification for the World Championship, Asian Games next year, and finally the Paris Olympics in 2024. So, to accomplish these unfulfilled desires I must train in front of Ariyo. Otherwise, practicing only at Kalinga Stadium which I have been doing for the last six-seven months, will not help me at all to boost my performance. That is why I am planning to go to California early next year where Ariyo is now, for the ultimate preparation.”
Amiya Mallick & The Financial Crunch
Amiya Mallick lamented that he has hardly received any financial support from anybody. When he made the trip to Jamaica to train under Glen Mills in 2013 then only his state sports ministry gave him Rs 30 lakh. Amiya said,
“Our state promotes and encourages the sports personalities of other states. That is fine. I also lauded when the state sports ministry gave cash incentives to the national hockey team. But does that mean the performers in the other disciplines from our state will have to face negligence? It is always painful for me. It has always been painful for me. If I want to go to California for training under Taiwo then I also have to arrange funds from my pocket.”