69th Inter-Services Athletics Championship: Ajmal’s golden journey from football ground to track
For 21-year old Mohammed Ajmal, football was his favourite sport since childhood before his coach gauged his potential and guided him to track from ground.
The coach’s advice is reaping success as Ajmal has won medals in the last five years.
“I used to play left forward for my city team (Palakkad), but my coach told me that I can be a better runner. So, I started participating in athletics competition,” said Ajmal who won gold in the 200 metre category during the 69th Inter Services Athletics Championship at Army Sports Institute on Saturday.
Ajmal, who is SSR (Senior Secondary Recruits) in Indian Navy, claimed the medal with the timings of 21.16 seconds, while silver and bronze were clinched by Army Red men K Ashok (21.38s) and Vignesh R (21.41s) respectively.
Ajmal is happy with gold, but he is working hard to make it big in major events.
The national record in 200m is on the name of Mohammed Anas with the timings of 20.63 seconds and the Olympic record is 19.19 seconds on the name of Usain Bolt.
“My best timing is 21.01seconds. Today’s performance was not one of my best and I have to improve a lot. Need to work on accelerating start and also focus on basics,” said Ajmal, who will be participating in senior open national athletics championships to be held at Ranchi in October.
Ajesh TG, coach of Ajmal, expects the sprinter to beat the national record set by Anas.
“He has just joined us in Cochin 4-5 months back and he is great talent. I am working on him to make him do better. It will take time, but he has the age with him so we can expect him to do well on big stage,” said Ajesh.
“We are aiming the timing of 20.6 seconds in the upcoming senior open athletics national championship in Ranchi and he can do it,” Ajesh said.
Aim to advance in 400 metre
Coach Ajesh, who has to his credit eight gold medals on the trot during the 2001-2008 season in 400 metre, wants his find to emulate him. “His style will suit 400 metre running, so will start practicing for same soon,” added Ajesh TG
No to 100 metre
Ajmal knows in what events he can excel and that is the reason 100 metre running is not his event. “100 metre needs very quick start and I am not that good at it,” he said.
Mohammed Ajmal, Indian Navy 200 metre gold
I want to improve and excel on big stage in the next five years
Ajesh TG, coach, Indian Navy
Ajmal has quality to excel. He will perform better in senior open national athletics championship.
200m: 1. Mohammed Ajmal (Indian Navy) 21.16seconds; 2. K Ashok (Army Red) 21.38s; 3. Vignesh R (Army Red) 21.41s
800m: 1. Mohammed Afsal (Air Force) 1minute:49.84seconds; 2. Ankesh Chaudhary (Army Red) 1:50.05; 3. Ankit (Air Force) 1:50:.34seconds
5000m: 1. G Lakshmanan (Army Red) 14minutes:23.25seconds; 2. B Srinu (Army Red) 14:24.69s
High Jump: Anil Sarvesh Kushare (Army Red) 2.19m; 2. Chetan B (Air Force) 2.19m; Silvester (Air Force) 2.16m