Gandhinagar: Amlan Borgohain of Assam and Jyothi Yarraji of Odisha emerged as the fastest man and the fastest woman of the 36th National Games here on Saturday, winning their respective 100m races with ease.
Borgohain has a simple philosophy when it comes to running. Don’t think too much about conditions or anything. Just run fast.
The 23-year-old on Saturday did just that to stop the clock at 10.38 seconds at the IIT Gandhinagar athletics track to clinch the men’s 100m gold and win the mantle of the fastest man of Gujarat 2022.
A few minutes later, Andhra Pradesh’s Jyothi Yarraji stunned a star-studded field, including Dutee Chand and Hima Das, to win the Women’s 100m gold in a thrilling race.
The lanky hurdler, who clocked 11.51 seconds, to emerge as the Fastest Woman at the Games said that she was very relaxed ahead of the race and delighted with her victory.
Borgohain, the current National Record holder, had registered a timing of 10.28s in the semifinals and though he could not improve on that performance he was more than happy.
“You know, it’s like a stage show, sometimes you perform, sometimes you don’t,” he smiled.
Speaking with amazing clarity and a sense of honour, Borgohain said he doesn’t think of anything when he is running. “In those few seconds, there is no time to think. You simply focus on executing your game plan,” he explained, revealing that the only thing he concentrated on was his posture.
Borgohain said the hot conditions didn’t enter his mind even once. “I don’t think about it much. It is the same for everyone, isn’t it? In the All-India Railway competition, I ran at 2 PM in similar weather conditions and clocked 10.25 seconds. So, I am experienced in this kind of weather,” he smiled.
Incidentally, he had broken the National Record in Rae Bareli at that time and feels that his performance may inspire many youngsters to take up athletics in the North East.
“We have many footballers, weightlifters and boxers and now we are not so bad in athletics either,” he said.
Borgohain also took this opportunity to highlight the sacrifices his family had made to help him make a career in athletics and said he was happy he could deliver.
“You see this,” he said, pointing to his arm on which he had tattooed ‘maa’. “I was in Orissa and was thinking of my mother and simply went and got this inscribed on myself,” he revealed, confirming that he didn’t tell his mom before getting it done.
Asked how much faster he could go in the coming years, he refused to spell out his target and insisted that the sky was the limit for him.
“I don’t put limits on myself. I just work hard and wherever God takes me, I go. If it comes, it comes. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter,” he said philosophically.
Meanwhile, Jyothi said she did not come here thinking of winning or losing.
“I didn’t come here thinking of winning or losing. I just wanted to give a good timing and that helped me come up with my fastest race,” Jyothi said.
She was quick to thank and appreciate the role played by star sprinters Dutee Chand (Odisha) and Hima Das (Assam).
“They have always encouraged me and I thank them for their support. I am just happy that I won and don’t think on the lines that I beat them,” she explained, when asked if it was a special feeling to go past the stars.
Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) and Diandra Valladares (Maharashtra) won the silver and bronze in the blue riband event of the day.