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Mohammed Asraf Ali is another ‘new kid on the block’ in the field of Indian athletics. The high jumper has already drawn the attention of the athletics fraternity by winning gold medals in the Under-20 Federation Cup twice and also acquired a silver medal in Junior National Championships last year jumping 2.09 meters. The high-jumper has also leaped his personal best height of 2.12 meters in the Inter-University North-East Zone a couple of months ago.
The Journey of Asraf Ali
Asraf Ali used to do both High Jump and Long Jump in his childhood during his school days, but he did not know the basics of the game. He gave all credit to his coach Vibekananda Ghosh who has completed his Ph.D. in High Jump and has been training at North Bengal University campus. Asraf started training under this coach in 2019.
“I did not know anything about High Jump. It was Ghosh who took me to North Bengal University campus in 2019 after I won the gold medal in the High Jump in the school state championship from my Bidhannagar Kurban Ali school. I jumped 1.85 meters. Since then, I have been training under his guidance. Otherwise, it could have been difficult for me to continue as my father, Sardar Ali, is a mere farmer. Along with my mother, I have one elder brother and a sister. My father has to work too hard for a living. It could not have been possible for him to feed me for my athletics finally.”
The Coach and his Contribution
Asraf has a great attribute for his coach and mentor Vibekananda Ghosh. He is so indebted that despite the lack of synthetic turf at the North Bengal University campus Asraf has not yet wished to come to Kolkata and appear for trials at the Kolkata SAI complex.
The High-Jumper said,
“Sir is looking after everything. Even sir fulfills my financial needs. Under his tutelage only, I have been able to jump 2.12 meters, improving from 1.85 meters. It is true that due to the lack of a synthetic track my run-up and take-off in the event gets badly affected. As the field is grassy and muddy the soil becomes slippery and I got injured on my ankle once before Khelo India Youth Games last year, slipping on the slippery field while taking off. The injury aggravated as I participated in the Khelo India Youth Games with this injury and then I was ruled out of the track for two-and-half months completely.”
Asraf’s Motivation and Swapna Barman
Asraf is a fan of Qatar’s legendary High Jump player Mutaz Barshim who has won an Olympics gold medal and two silver medals. Asraf described,
“I often watch videos of his pieces of training and competitions and try to apply his technique in my training.”
Simultaneously, Asraf is also influenced by Swapna Barman, the first-ever heptathlete from India to have won the gold medal in Asian Games. Asraf said,
“I become inspired whenever I meet Swapna Barman. She has also inspired me whenever I met her. I dream of inscribing my name beside her name. I wish to take myself to a position in the field of sports so that people of North Bengal also feel pride by mentioning my name.”
The Aim of Asraf Ali
Asraf Ali is preparing himself for the forthcoming selection trials for World University Games. The selection trials took place in Chennai in February. He needs to jump 2.15 meters to earn the qualification for the Indian team for the World University Games.
Asraf sounded confident. He said,
“I have already leaped 2.12 meters in the Inter-University Games. So, I believe I will also be able to leap 2.15 meters in selection trials.”
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