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'I even did not know his name': Animesh Kujur on becoming Martin Owens' student

Animesh recalled that he did not even know Martin Owens' name or credentials but requested the Reliance Foundation coach to train him.

I even did not know his name: Animesh Kujur on becoming Martin Owens student

Animesh Kujur of Odisha won 200m gold and 100m bronze at the Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar on May 13, 2023. (Photo credit: Odisha Sports/X)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 May 2024 7:27 AM GMT

Indian sprinter Animesh Kujur won the 200m gold and 100m bronze at the 27th Federation Cup in Bhubaneshwar on Monday.

He finished the race with a timing of 20.62 seconds, one-tenth of a second off the two-year-old national record of 20.52 seconds held by Amlan Borgohain.

Animesh attributes his rise to his coach, Martin Owens. Speaking about Martin, Animesh shared how they became acquainted, a rather funny anecdote.

"After I competed at an event in Bilaspur (in Chhattisgarh) in 2022, I saw a foreigner with a lot of athletes by his side. So, I knew he was a coach. I straight away requested him to take me under him. I even did not know his name,” Kujur said.

“He said all right and took some tests after a few months and he agreed to coach me. That is how I am currently training under Martin Owens at the Reliance Foundation HPC," he added.

Martin is currently the head coach of the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, a position he has held since 2022.

Animesh has been performing exceptionally well and the 20-year-old is confident of making it to the Paris Olympics. "My next competition is in Europe and I am hoping for some more events after that also. I have been improving my personal best and so I am hoping to breach the Paris Games qualifying time,” he concluded.

To qualify for Paris, Animesh needs to breach the qualifying time of 20.16 seconds, and he has until June 30 to do so, as the qualification window is open till then.

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