What’s the story?
Indian athlete Mohammad Anas Yahiya, made an entry into the record books, as he became only the second Indian after legendary Milkha Singh, to qualify for the finals of any track event in the Commonwealth Games 2018.
He finished the 400 meters semi-finals in 45.44 seconds, which is less than what the legend had clocked up in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 1958. The ‘Flying Sikh’ had finished his race with a time of 46.6 seconds, which makes Yahiya’s feats a historical one indeed.
In case you didn’t know…
Legendary track and field player Milkha Singh won a gold medal in the 400 meters (which was called 440 yards in 1958) with a time of 46.6 seconds, which made him the first gold medallist from independent India at the CWG.
Up until discus thrower, Vikas Gowda won the gold in 2014, Milkha Singh remained the only male athlete from India to have won an individual gold in athletics for the country.
Since 1958, no runner has managed to reach the final stage of the Games, though Yahiya, the national record holder with a time of 45.32 promised much before the Games in Gold Coast began.
The heart of the matter
Anas was the fourth-fastest amongst all the qualifiers in the semi-finals, with Botswana’s Isaac Makwala qualifying as the fastest runner. The Indian was trailing in fourth position, with around 150 meters left to go but, then gained pace to leave the others behind.
He won his heat by a margin of 0.33 seconds, with Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald coming second.
Yahiya is scheduled to take part in the finals on 10th April (Tuesday), at 5:20 pm IST, and he would be hoping to break the shackles and return home with a medal.
The good show continues from the Indian contingent at the CWG, and Yahiya’s brilliant run only shows the great performances that the athletes have been pitching in with.
In an event, where not much was expected, Yahiya emerged to topple Milkha Singh’s CWG records and script his name in history. The show is not only a result of his dedication and hard work, it is also a thumbs up to the Athletics Federation of India who has been supporting the Indian athletes with funds, training, and support.
If Yahiya can indeed come home with a gold, it will only end a rather long wait in the track and field event.