Inspired by the Anime character Goku, Amlan breaks 200-metre national record

April 7, 2022

AthleticsFederation Cup


Sprinter Amlan Borgohain is so fiercely competitive that he doesn’t like to finish behind anyone, even in the heats. He was so disappointed after finishing second in his heat group on Tuesday, that coach James Hillier, and his psychologist had to have a long chat to get him in the right frame of mind for the finals.

But what really motivated him to return on Wednesday for the 200m finals and break the national record with a 20.52s run was last evening’s anime (Japanese animation) binge-watching marathon.

Spectators have stayed back to witness the #FedCup men’s triple jump event in Kozhikode University despite heavy rainfall just half an hour ago

“I am a huge fan of Anime and I watch a lot of Drag Ball Z and get inspired by Goku (the lead character). So after talking to my coach and psychologist I watched a lot of episodes on the internet and it boosted me. One thing Anime has taught me is that there is no limit. That is why I push myself each day,” Amlan, who trains at the Reliance Foundation’s high-performance centre in Bhubaneswar, said.

Amlan, 23, burst onto the scene last year after winning the senior national open title clocking the fifth India best timing of 20.75s. Since then, coach Hillier has helped him improve his technique and race strategy, especially the first 50 metres and last 30 metres. Amlan’s run at the Fed Cup eclipsed Mohammed Ansas’s previous national record of 20.63s.

“We went back to the nationals last year and we figured out where we can make two to three metres of improvement. The first 50 was definitely an area we could work on, and in the last 30m he was already good but we could make him super good. We worked on reaching the first 50m faster. Also getting a little better at running at the bends,” Hillier explained.

If Amlan is passionate about anything else as much as Anime it is football. He still feels football is his first love but the junior national-level midfielder switched to sprinting because he was getting injured often on the pitch. But now Amlan’s undivided focus is on athletics and he wants to inspire other youngsters to take up sprinting.

Coach Hillier is happy with Amlan’s progress so far but feels he is still a work in progress.

“He’s leaner than he has ever been and fitter than he has ever been. Obviously, he is faster since he has broken the record. He is also more tactically aware now. It’s not just about running quick, there are tactics and elements to it,” the coach said.

Athletes and officials were sent running for cover after heavy rainfall on the final day of the #FedCup in Kozhikode

Amlan ran in not so ideal conditions. Just minutes after his race the Mohammed Koya Stadium in Kozhikode was lashed with heavy rainfall. The humidity drained the Assam athlete at the end of the race. Amlan knows he needs to prepare for his next competition but he has one task to complete the moment he lands in Hyderabad.

“I have printed 20.50s on the cover of my phone. Since I have almost achieved it I will set a new target. In Dragon Ball Z, Goku always keeps improving himself in the battle. I feel like I have to be like Goku and be plus one in the next event. I never give up.”

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