Highlights

  • Mohammed Anas is sprinting from one successful tournament to another in the last couple of years. The youngster holds the national record in 400 meters.
  • One of the rising stars to come up in the Indian Athletics, Mohammed Anas Yahiya made every Indian proud even after missing the podium finish, just by a whisker at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
  • The Indian runner broke the national record and completed the 400 m race in 45.31 secs. The Asian champion couldn’t get us a medal but broke his own national record.
  • He wasn’t going to miss out on the podium finish again and gave his very best to win not one, but three silver medals in Asian Games 2018! He achieved this incredible feat in individual 400 m, and men’s 4×400 m and mixed 4×400 m relays.

Mohammed Anas Yahiya – India’s Sprinting Sensation

Mohammed Anas kreedon
Can Mohammed Anas become the first Indian Sprinter to win us an Olympic medal?

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 17 September 1994
  • Place of Birth: Kallambalam, Kerala, India
  • Height: 177 cm
  • Weight: 70 kg
  • Alma Mater: Sree Krishna College
  • Event: 200 meters, 400 meters
  • Coach: Galina Bukharina, PB Jaikumar, Mohammed Kunji

Family Background and Early Life

Born on 17th September 1994 in a humble background in Kerala,  Mohammed Anas Yahiya grew up at Valayidam in Nilamel and was initiated into athletics when he was in 5th standard. Recalling the early phase of his life, when he had to stop sports altogether after his father passed away, Mohammed Anas says, 

I was in Class 10 at that time. At that stage in my life, I did not imagine that I will get such a platform or even be a sportsman. It’s with his family’s support that he eventually got back to the sports turf.

His mother Sheena helped Anas pursue his dreams after his father passed away while working in Gulf, due to a heart attack.

How it all started for Mohammed Anas

  • Mohammed Anas was a long jumper during his early days until his school coach had a vacancy in the 400. Surprisingly, it happened at a carnival where the coach asked him to run. And he clocked 49 seconds, enough to beat many good athletes present there.
  • This was just the beginning, as Anas won the Calicut university championship twice and a silver medal in the Indian University Championship 2014.  Mohammed Anas became the part of the 4x400m relay squad of Kerala that won the silver medal in the National Games is, in February 2015.
  • Then, he got picked by the talent scouting team of the Indian Navy. After that, he started training under the guidance of former international athlete, TG Ajesh who was his coach.
  • A silver medal in the 400m event in his first senior National Athletics championships glorified his already existing bag of achievements. For the first time, the athlete improved his timings below 46 seconds during the events of Indian Grand Prix & the Federation Cup events held in Delhi in April 2016.
  • Under the guidance & training of national coach Muhammed Kunhi, a former champion of services (400m), the quartet of Anas, Kunhu Mohamed, Ayyaswamy Dharun &  Arokia Rajiv successfully broke their own national record enabling them to jump to 13th place in World rankings.

April 10, 2018 – The unforgettable day for Mohammed Anas

  • mohammad anas kreedon
  • April 10 would go down as one of the most remarkable days in the history of sports for many people.
  • Mohammed Anas Yahiya finished fourth in the men’s 400m track event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth GamesFor most of us, that is where this story would end here. But it wasn’t just his personal best. The time in which Anas finished the 400m race is a new national record for India.
  • He was also the first athlete from India in 60 years to reach the finals of a track event at the Commonwealth Games. He ran the 400 meters semifinals in the Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast in 45.31 which is less than what the “Flying Sikh” – Legendary Milkha Singh had achieved during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games,1958. (Milkha Singh achieved the feat in 46.6 seconds) which makes the day unforgettable for the Indian athlete. 
  • For someone who had never seen athletics till in his higher secondary school. And he who faced discouragement in various forms throughout his life and sports career. This can definitely be termed an achievement par excellence.

Why it took 58 years to break the Legendary record

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Anas became the second player after the legendary Milkha Singh to run in a CWF Track & Field final. (Source)

His coach P B Jayakumar says,

There were many adverse circumstances that marred his performances. The association initially didn’t have a plan to give him an individual run as he was not in the camp. But had trained with me instead. The inclusion was an afterthought. I won’t say that he was in the best state of mind due to many such reasons. It’s not easy for an athlete to bring out his full potential in such a situation.

Do you think high poverty levels can be sufficient reason?   Other countries with much lower levels of per-capita income, such as Kenya and Jamaica, consistently fare better.

Unless there is a synergized sports culture you will never win a string of medals.” – Boria Majumdar, co-author of the book, Playing It My Way, the autobiography of former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar , along with Sachin.

With a huge population of the country illiterate, education tends to be on the highest priority for an average Indian parent. Sports, on the other hand, is considered an extra-curricular activity in India. A popular Hindi saying roughly translates to

If you study hard you will live like a king but if you play sports you will ruin your life.” 

This life gets even difficult to impart with formal education. The skills may range from coordination among peer to performing under high-intensity pressure. Moreover, there’s very less support for those who go beyond all shackles and display their athletic prowess.

Scarce public investible resources have been eluding sports for a long time now. This is further aggravated by misallocation of funds. Lack of transparency in the processes, poor on ground asset management and a missing framework for measuring the impact of the money spent in the domain. The big question is will all of this change, despite the best intentions of the current government?

Indian athletes who have achieved international success are exceptions rather than products of the country’s sports system.” – Boria Majumdar

The scholarships and endowments offered to athletes guarantee a basic minimum standard of living. But bureaucracy in the system, political interference in form of referrals, conflicts of interest and corruption, have been the major causes for the plight of many international athletes. Sporting associations itself are no strangers to scandals.

The Asian Games Glory

Mohammed Anas was determined to come home with an Asiad medal. He started on a high by topping the charts in qualifications and semifinals. Unfortunately, he missed out on the gold to Qatar’s Hassan Abdalelah. The silver came by clocking an impressive 45.69 seconds.

It was one of my aims to win a medal [at the Asian Games]. The practice for the Games was extremely good in the Czech Republic, where there were nice weather and good food. I also got a lot of competition and companionship in practice there,” Anas told IndiaToday.in after the victory.

mixed relay team

India’s Sparkling Four – Mixed Relay team of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Rajiv Arokia, Hima Das, and MR Poovamma

His medal-winning streak continued in the team events as well. The men’s relay team of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Rajiv Arokia, Dharun Ayyasamy, and Muhammed Puthanpurakkal clocked 3:01.85 to win the Asiad silver. The mixed relay team also got the silver. The silver is all the more special as it was the debutant mixed relay event in Asian Games.

Overall, the excellent tournament has set the right tone for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But, Anas is not the one to settle, he will be working hard to better his record.

Some Other Bright Stars like Mohammed Anas

mohammed anas kreedon
Indian Athletics sure has many rising stars like Arpinder Singh, Neeraj Chopra, and Jinson Johnson

India will soon produce its first athlete who wins a medal at an event like the Olympics and a number of youngsters will begin to follow his/her footsteps. Indians have the talent, perfect body structure in athletes for long distance runs. But the only thing is, they need the right motivation and knowledge on how to train.

Achievements of Mohammed Anas

Asian Games

YearPlaceEventMedal
2018Jakarta, Indonesia400 metresSilver
2018Jakarta, IndonesiaMen’s 4×400 mSilver
2018Jakarta, IndonesiaMen’s 4×400 mSilver

 

South Asian Games

YearPlaceEventMedal
2016Guwahati, IndiaMen’s 4×400 mGold

 

Asian Championships

YearPlaceEventMedal
2017Bhubaneshwar, India400 metersGold
2017Bhubaneshwar, IndiaMen’s 4×400 mGold

 

 

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