Amlan Borgohain, who produced a spectacular run at the National Open Athletics in Warangal in the 200m to win gold last year, is also making impressive strides in the 100m dash. The 23-year-old, who has made rapid progress since he started training at the Reliance Foundation Odisha High Performance Center (HPC) at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in 2019, took silver earlier this month at the 81st All India Inter-University Athletics Championship for Men in Mangalore in the 100m, with times of 10.58, 10, 55 and 10.50 seconds in his three races over the competition.
James Hillier, Head Coach at Reliance Foundation Odisha HPC, said he was pleased with his division’s performance, but explained that it was too early in the season for athletes to produce their best timing.
“We are still in a general preparatory phase and have only trained for eight weeks, so this would always be more of a race we followed closely rather than something we specifically focused on,” Hillier says. “Amlan made a few mistakes in the final that ultimately cost him the gold, but I’m sure he learned from his mistakes and will become a better athlete.”
Borgohain’s sensational performance at the Open Nationals, where in addition to decimating the field in the 200m with a personal best (PB) timing of 20.75 seconds, he also won silver in the 100m with a further PB of 10.34 seconds , has catapulted him into the national spotlight. With high profile events such as the Commonwealth and Asian Games scheduled for later this year, Borgohain is focused on being on top form to put his best foot forward in those competitions. The coaching staff and support teams have identified essential interventions needed to ensure he comes to these matches with the best possible preparation.
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Of immediate concern to Borgohain, however, are the World University Games in China in June, which he appears to have done enough to qualify for. The All India Inter-University Athletics Championship in Mangalore served as a trial for that event.
“I focused on him trying to lose a little bit of weight while maintaining his strength,” explains Hillier. “We’ve done that by closely monitoring his food intake to make sure he’s not getting too much fuel for training. We’re trying to improve everything a little bit. My job this year is to keep his feet firmly on the ground and I have to keep reminding him how he got to this position from a completely unknown athlete in the first place.”
Sprinter Amlan Borgohain reaches new heights with 2 personal records
Besides Borgohain, 20-year-old Swadhin Majhi in the high jump with a first jump of 2.08m and 18-year-old Nikhil Das’ PB of 1.95m in the same event at his first national level competition were the other achievements that drove Hillier. to be excited for the rest of the year. Majhi, in particular, radiated confidence throughout his competition and may have come back with an even better effort if not for an ankle injury he sustained on his first attempt at 2.11m. Based on his observations during the match in Mangalore, Hillier has identified some technical aspects for Majhi, who hails from Angul in Odisha, to further improve his performance.
“With Swadhin, I focused on his postures in the run-up and especially in the last three steps,” he explains. “I have the feeling that he is not yet optimally adjusting the jump. He’s improving, but these technical changes take time and a huge amount of support from the athletes.”
While training programs need to be adjusted due to Covid-induced restrictions, Hillier wants to ensure his athletes don’t get bogged down and keep their minds healthy during this challenging time. He is confident that more athletes from the Reliance Foundation Odisha HPC will achieve impressive results in 2022.
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