Chennai’s Manekshaw Anand has done the nation proud after bagging a silver medal in the 400-metre dash with a personal best of 52.8s in the Asian Master Athletic Championships held in Malaysia from December 1 to 7 this year. The 36-year-old participated in the 35-40 age category and was preparing himself ever since he bagged bronze in the Asia Pacific Master Games in 2018.
Though Anand was preparing to turn out in the 200-metre dash, the Ashok Nagar resident had to switch to the 400- metre event after an untimely fever. However, despite the weakness that followed, he ensured that he gave it his all to come second in the Championships that had 40 other nations participating. Anand attributes his endurance and strength despite the fever to the hours of practice that he has been putting in since 2014.
“Practice begins at 5 am every day. I do a lot of endurance workouts. The 400m dash is a long and strenuous run. Our muscles degenerate because of the strain. I follow a strict diet, high in carbohydrates to regenerate my muscles. I also eat protein but my diet mostly consists of vitamins and carbohydrates, because I burn so much of those in my four-hour workout every morning”, he said.
“Our muscles undergo a lot of wear and tear. We cool off once a week by swimming which relaxes the muscles. It is extremely important to loosen our muscles because they are tense and rigid after working them out six days a week. We also get massages and undergo constant physiotherapy to deal with our muscular tension,” he gives an insight into his strenuous fitness regime. Anand hopes that the government can invest in athletics more so that players like him do not have to worry about stay or travel in competitions and just focus on doing India proud.