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Khelo India Youth Games

How on-call meditation with coach helped Sadanand Kumar set 100m Junior National Record

Sadanand Kumar set a junior national record in Men's 100m sprint at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games 2021.

How on-call meditation with coach helped Sadanand Kumar set 100m Junior National Record

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 Jun 2022 11:15 AM GMT

Sadanand Kumar has had an interesting journey from Chandol Barkagaon village in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district to becoming a repeat winner of the men's 100m crown in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex here on Tuesday. He bettered the National Junior Record with a time of 10.63 seconds.

Born 25km south-west of Hazaribagh, he has been training in the Sports Authority of India's National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata for the last two years. Sadanand lost his father even before being born and hopes to make his mother proud with his exploits on track.
He was spotted at a school meet where he won a sprint race. A physical education teacher Sriranjan Singh encouraged him to pursue sport. The Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society picked him up to join an academy in Hotwar and, in 2016, he was represented Hazaribagh district in the National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet in Visakhapatnam.
The victory in the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati was a turning point for Sadanand. He had clocked 10.98 in heats and claimed gold with a timing of 10.95 seconds in the final. That prompted Sports Authority of India's talent scouts to encourage him to join the SAI National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Kolkata.
"I cannot have asked for a better location that the SAI NCOE in Kolkata to take my career forward. I have all that an athlete can ask for to train well without worrying about anything," he said. "We have a good sports science back up too to enable the right kind of training, including recovery so that athletes get back to the track feeling fresh each time."
On Tuesday, Sadanand Kumar was apprehensive after the heats as he clocked 10.90 seconds. He was worried that like in the Federation Cup U20 Championships in Nadiad, Gujarat, last week, he would clock a slower time in the final. "It was hard to ignore the fact that I had clocked 10.78 seconds in the heats, 10.84 in the semifinals and 10.89 in the final in Nadiad," he said.
"Besides, I was unsure of some of the new athletes here," Sadanand Kumar said.
It was a call to SAI coach Sanjay Ghosh that calmed his nerves. The coach reminded him of his pacy repetitions in training, guided him through a meditation session and got him to replay images of his win in Guwahati. "That conversation helped boost my confidence," he said.
"I realised that practice is harder than a competitive race and I told myself to not feel pressure any more by thinking it was a training run," he said.
Having shaved off 0.15 seconds from his previous personal best time to win Khelo India Youth Games 100m title again, he is now confident that he can get better by training right.

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