Rameshwar Gurjar, a barefoot sprinter from Madhya Pradesh, finished in the last position at a trial run conducted by the Sports Authority of India in association with the state government in Bhopal on Monday. Gurjar has been in the news for a statement he made earlier this week.
In a conversation after the race, ANI quoted Gurjar as saying that he had back pain when he ran the race. He also added that he had an intention to stay at the academy for a month and that he would perform better if he were trained. Gurjar also expressed that running with shoes had affected his performance, and he liked to run barefoot.
Nonetheless, the Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju defended the sprinter under-performance in the trials, with a tweet saying, “Rameshwar Gurjar’s trial run was conducted at T T Nagar Stadium by senior coaches of SAI and State Govt. Here, Rameshwar is seen running at extreme left. He is exhausted due to the glare of publicity, so couldn’t perform well. Will give proper time and training to him.”
Rameshwar Gurjar's trial run was conducted at T T Nagar Stadium by senior coaches of SAI and State Govt. Here, Rameshwar is seen running at extreme left. He is exhausted due to the glare of publicity so couldn't perform well. Will give proper time and training to him. pic.twitter.com/RQtkxWFDFR
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 19, 2019
He further added, “My appeal; Pls don’t burden Rameshwar Gurjar with extra expectation. Will provide full support but pls remember, in athletics, there’s a limit to human endurance. Besides coaching, it depends on both cardiovascular capacity & the metabolic characteristics of the skeletal muscles!”
Earlier this week, the MP youngster had gone viral on social media through a video showing him sprint 100 meters barefoot in 11 seconds. However, the 19-year-old sprinter from Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh could manage only 13 seconds during a trial run at Bhopal’s TT Stadium.
Gurjar had expressed his optimism of eclipsing Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100m event if he is given proper training.
“Usain Bolt made a world record of 9.58 seconds for the 100 metres race. I am hopeful of breaking it after getting facilities and proper training,” Gurjar had said earlier on Sunday.