Anas’ timing poor, says coach

A silver medal in the men’s 400m was expected but not the below-par timing, says his coach P. B. Jaikumar.

Mohammed Anas clocked 45.69s to win the men’s 400m silver at the Asian Games.   -  AP

Mohammed Anas Yahiya earned himself an early birthday gift — he turns 25 on September 17 — by winning the men’s 400m silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Anas came second behind Qatar's Abdalelah Haroun Hassan, clocking 45.69s. His silver was the first by an Indian in 32 years after K. K. Premachandran’s feat at the Asian Games in 1982. Paramjith Singh and Arokia Rajiv had won bronze medals in the 1998 and 2014 Games.

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A medal-winning effort notwithstanding, Anas’ timing at Jakarta was below his personal best and his coach P. B. Jaikumar wasn’t impressed with it. “The silver medal did not come as a surprise as I was expecting it. Anas was in good form this season. But I expected him to run a sub-45 in the final. The timing was poor and it was a slow race as Haroun also clocked timing which was below his best,” the coach said.

‘Disappointed’

The coach said Anas used to call him at least twice everyday to discuss and plan his race.

“Anas called me in the morning and I asked him not to worry about Haroun who hadn’t gone all out in this event in the semifinals. But I asked Anas to go all out in the final. But after seeing the race I think he didn’t give his best; maybe the pressure of running a final got hold of him. Nevertheless I am happy but a bit disappointed with his timing,” said the Kerala State Sports Council’s elite coach whose other ward Anu Raghavan entered the women’s 400m hurdles final.