Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016
|#6 h7 r1/3||Athletics||400 metres|
|#AC h2 r1/2||Athletics||4 x 400 metres Relay|
Muhammed Anas biography
A young sprinter who has shone across running events in Asia, Muhammed Anas is one of India’s brightest stars on the track.
India’s national record holder in the 400m, Anas has won medals at the Asian Games, Asian Championships and is only the third Indian quarter-miler to participate at the Olympics after KM Binu and Milkha Singh, a feat he achieved in Rio 2016.
Muhammed Anas grew up in the village of Nilamel in Kerala and it wasn’t a surprise that he took up athletics. His father Yahiya was a state-level athlete and Anas’ first realisation of wanting to take up the sport came when he saw Jamaican legend Usain Bolt tearing down the Beijing track at the 2008 Olympics.
Anas joined a local sports club and though he was recognised as the fastest runner in the village, his mentor felt his tall frame was better suited to the long jump event.
The youngster emerged as a long jump champion at his school, but when the coaches in his higher secondary school suggested he take to the track again, Muhammed Anas was more than willing to return to his passion.
The move felt justified when he began winning medals at the district and state level; and when he won the 400m gold at the junior national championships in 2012, it gave him the opportunity to join a college where Kerala’s elite sports centre coach served as the athletics head.
Muhammed Anas won more medals for the Calicut University and at the 2015 National Games, he won the 4x400m relay silver for Kerala, after which the Indian Navy came calling, offering much needed financial stability.
At the 2016 senior nationals, Muhammed Anas clinched the 400m silver in his first attempt and broke the 46-second barrier at the Indian Grand Prix and Federation Cups that year for the first time, the wins proving to be big landmarks of his nascent career.
At the Polish Athletics Championships later that year, Muhammed Anas ran the 400m heats in 45.44 seconds, creating a new national record and then made the cut for Rio Olympics with a 45.40 second-effort in the final. He had broken the national record twice in three days.
He was also part of the national record-breaking 4x400m relay team that qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Muhammed Anas may have bowed out of Rio 2016 in the heats, but the stage of the Olympics and the experience of meeting childhood idol Usain Bolt gave him memories that will last a lifetime:
“The motivation from the event was amazing. I could meet all those international athletes I adore, including Usain Bolt. The experience and confidence international competitions give are unparalleled. My whole attitude towards sports changed with that exposure,” he stated in an interview.
The Indian sprinter enjoyed a stellar 2018, winning three silver medals at the Asian Games and came within a whisker of becoming the first Indian athlete since Milkha Singh to win a bronze at the Commonwealth Games, though he did create another new national record in the 400m race.
Muhammed Anas has since gone on to break the 400m national record twice. The record currently stands at 45.21 seconds.
The Indian government conferred him the Arjuna Award in recognition of his efforts in 2019.