” I can’t sum the feeling of running in words but all I can say is that it’s peaceful”
‘Tension free’ !
I don’t realise when time passes,when i am on track.
”I had just returned from my Senior Federation championship where, I bagged the first position
after clocking 46 seconds in the 400m race. After arriving in Lucknow for the Junior federation
championship, the team decided to go outside for a meal. After having a meal with my friends, we
returned back to our hostels. That night I felt extremely sick, so sick that I had to be admitted in the
hospital to the hospital and was kept back for observation all night. The final race was the next
day, I was worried but I remained calm and rested as I was left with no other option. After being
kept under observation for over 12 hours, I started feeling a little better. The race was playing on
my mind. I was discharged in the afternoon, I thought I should run the race so I went directly to the
ground and ran the race. I didn’t clock as good as my Senior Federation timing, but I stood first.
Considering the situation, I got myself into the previous night I was happy with my performance.
I was diagnosed with food poisoning and that really affected my training in the months to come.
Amoj Jacob is not your usual athlete, he hails from Kerala but lives in Delhi. He created history
when he broke the 11-year-old national record in junior boy’s U-20 400m event with the timing of
Amoj Jacob who was drawn to playing football and bunking class during his early days. Now is
India’s youngest Athlete to clock 46 seconds in the 400m event.
He also rose to fame when he was part of the Asian Athletics championship. His relay team
clocked 3:02.92. The season best time in Asia, to give India its first gold at the event since 1975.
Getting to know Amoj with Chaitanya Prabhu.
When did you start running ?
To be honest, it all started because I wanted bunk class and get way from school. In the tenth
standard, I had started training seriously before that it was only about playing football. As time
went by I decided to compete in a tournament, where I won my first medal. That’s when I thought
that I could probably pursue athletics. When I was in 10th Standard, my coach identified my
potential and told me that I should explore this talent. I then finally decided to start training serious,
I have not looked back since then.
Who inspires you
My inspiration is Wayde Van Niekerk. The south African athlete who broke the world record in
400m and set a new bed-rock for the next generation.
Did your family and friends support you
In the start my family dint quiet support me cause they thought I was not serious about athletics.
They kept telling me to study and that Athletics would not take me very far. They used to
sometimes not allow me to go for training in the morning as they valued education more than
sports. At first they never even bought me anything sports related. It was never a financial
problem, but they felt it was a waste of money.
Everything changed when I won at the national level, that’s when they realised that I will be able to
do something, so then they started to understand and support me.
All my friends are all athletes so support from them has always been there from the beginning. ”If
they would not have been there I wouldn’t be here.’’ When no one was there for me, they were always there. My friends were and are my pillar of support and I will never forget their contribution towards my journey.
Financially, I faced some issues as requirements increase as you keep working hard to prove
yourself. Protein is something which is expensive,I bought it only last year for myself but before
that I rarely had it. Having no sponsorship was a great problem as it was very difficult to get basic
vitamin supplements and protein because parents did not give money for such things.
Should Athletes get reservation for Education
Of-course athletes should get reservation. We train hard every morning and evening and after all
that training we have to then attend college/university. I feel we should be given bonus marks for
the work that we do for our country and our State. I have failed so many times because of this but
it’s fine, As athletes we always rise up. Athletes should be given some preference for the work put
it by them over the years.
How do you think India can get an Olympic medal
There are a lot of aspects, first one being training and second one being healthy supplements. The
international facilities are no comparison to what we have, even you know as you had gone to UK.
So you would know the difference.
If we want Olympic medals then we need state of the art facilities. As we compete with
international Athletes. Our facilities need to be if not better at least as good as them.
What do you think about the coaches in our country.
Our Coaches are all good, We have no shortage of coaches. They take good care of us. I have
been trained by several coaches and they have all been excellent mentors. Arvind Kapoor ,Galina
Bukharina and Rajmohan sir all have always been there for us whenever needed.
Views on voting
Voting is extremely important for our democracy. Everyone should vote in every election. I am a
registered voter in Delhi but due to my training at India camp it becomes difficult for me to go back
to Delhi just for a day to vote.
Viewership for athletics in India
There is no viewership to be honest, if there is a tournament we have to go and watch it ourselves,
no one comes. That’s the situation!!! Even if there is a national meet, no one comes to see .One
should just try and go to a Ranji trophy and see how many people come. You can even compare
athletics to cricket at this stage. I think viewership is close to zero in India.
The country looks forward toward young athletes like Amoj Jacob. There is only one dream and
that is that one day, we get an Olympic medal. Milkha Singh represented India and won laurels for
India at a time when India did not have any representation at the International front. After Milkha
Singh, M Anas has taken the weight on his shoulders and made us proud.
Now we have an emerging star who is our hope to decrease the gap between India and the
National level athlete
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