India’s national record holder in 100m, Amiya Mallick has made a full recovery from his prolonged injury and wants to break his own four-year-old timing of 10.26 seconds to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in the coming months.
The 27-year-old from Odisha announced his comeback by winning the gold medal in his pet event at the National Open in Ranchi in October last year, where he clocked 10.46 seconds.
Though Amiya Mallick remained a good two-tenths off his national record timing and the race needed a long look from the photo-finish judge to declare him as the winner, the athlete was confident enough to dream big.
“I want to at least break the national record this year and I'm optimistic about my chances for the Olympics.
“I'm keeping my fingers crossed!” Amiya Mallick told the Sportstar.
The fastest man in India
Amiya Mallick had announced his arrival on the big stage in 2006 when he had won the silver medal at the Junior Asian Meet in Colombo. He had followed it up with a bronze medal in 200 metres at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games as well.
Though injuries often interrupted his career, Amiya has always managed to make a mark upon his return. After seeing off 2011 and 2012 through injury, the athlete won the gold medal at the National Open Athletics Championships at Ranchi in 2013.
Such was his promise that the state association and sponsors helped Mallick’s father to accommodate the athlete four months of training with coach Glen Mills in Kingston, where the athlete trained with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
The training helped as he clocked 10.26 seconds in the 100m event two years later, during the semi-final of the 2016 National Federation Cup in New Delhi.
The record stands even today with Amiya Mallick holding the tag of the “fastest man in India”.
Injury and misfortune
The once-promising candidate for Rio 2016, however, has gone through multiple injuries and misfortune.
The 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, which was held in Bhubaneswar, saw Amiya Mallick get disqualified from the 100 metres semi-final due to a false start. He was also a part of the 4×100 metres relay team, which got disqualified in the heats for Mallick’s baton exchange infraction.
He left all of it behind to train under US-based Nigerian coach Taiwo Ariyo in Finland the following year, but the sprinter was soon sidelined with a groin tear.
How Amiya Mallick can qualify for 2020 Olympics
Mallick could qualify for the 2020 Olympics by either directly beating the 100m cut-off timing of 10.05s or by getting into the top 56 fastest runners in the world, which will give him a direct qualification.
The qualification deadline for the Games is July 6.
“The 56th fastest runner is clocking around 10.17-18s. If I can get there or below, then I could seal my berth. But nothing like it if I can get below 10.5s. “So, the plan is to go with a fully loaded body and test it during the initial few events in March and accordingly make changes to achieve peak performance,” said Mallick.