On a hot Monday afternoon, Hassan Saaid was a blur to fellow participants as he effortlessly strode past them for a sprint double in the Indian Grand Prix-1 at the LNCPE, Kariyavattom.
The 100m field included Indian national record holder Amiya Kumar Mallick but Hassan shot off like a bullet from the blocks in conditions which were far from ideal for sprinting and won the race effortlessly. Hassan was equally impressive while winning the 200m.
Olympian Hassan is the pride of the small island nation of Maldives. A national record holder in both 100m (10.33s) and 200m (20.75s), Hassan is gearing up for the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) in Madagascar. Hassan was part of the seven-member athletics team from Maldives who was competing in the Indian Grand Prix races as part of their IOIG preparation.
The Maldives athletes have been training in Bengaluru for the last six months under chief coach Ahammed Faail and his assistant Shifaz Rashid.
“We are thankful to the Indian Government and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for extending full support and cooperation. We came with a 13-member contingent, but only seven athletes took part in the first Indian Grand Prix. We are concentrating mostly on sprints and middle distance as we think we have a good chance of winning international medals in these events. We are still taking baby steps and hope to make an impact soon at continental and global meets. Hassan Saaid is our best-known athlete, but we have a talented bunch, and our government is taking every effort to provide training and exposure to them,’’ said chief coach Ahammed Faail.
“The conditions were hot, and there was strong head wind, but I am happy with the way I ran. I am working hard to improve my own national records and am happy with my progress so far. The target is to do well in IOIG in Madagascar, ‘’ said Hassan.
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