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Would love to race like Usain Bolt, train like Yohan Blake: Amiya Mallick

Odisha sprinter Amiya Mallick shares his experience of training with the legendary Jamaican duo during his four-month stint under coach Glen Mills recently

It is said that to be the best, one must train like the best. Amiya Kumar Mallick, India’s budding sprinter, can count himself lucky as he was in the best of company during his four-month stint in Jamaica.

Amiya Mallick
Amiya Mallick. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi.

The 22-year-old from Odisha trained with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake’s coach Glen Mills. Not just that, he was also fortunate to interact with his idols Bolt and Blake.

Amiya Mallick with Usain Bolt
Amiya Mallick with Usain Bolt. Pic Courtesy/Sportslogon.com

“I was stunned to see Bolt and Blake together. I was told that they wouldn’t be around during my training schedule. But it was surprising to see the two great athletes there,” Mallick, who was sponsored by his state association, told mid-day upon his return.

“It was a terrific experience. Just by watching them you learn a lot. I was fortunate to see them from close quarters. Training with them has made me hungrier than ever to succeed,” he added.

Yohan Blake
Yohan Blake

Mallick shared his experience of interacting with the Jamaican duo. “Although it was for a very brief period, the experience was very valuable and memorable. Bolt told me to gain a bit more weight as that would help me in strengthening my muscles. He also suggested I have some Jamaican food.

“Blake was more easy to approach and talk to. Once he knew I was from India, he started talking about cricket. He plays cricket every Sunday with a bunch of Indians living there. He is a complete fitness freak. The best part about training there was the competitive spirit. They would just not let you give up. It was there that I understood the importance of ‘never to give up’ attitude,” he said.

Unique ways
Through this experience, Mallick has been reassured that every athlete is unique. “I have always believed that every track & field athlete is different in his own way. There cannot be a uniform pattern of training for every athlete.

“Usain was so different from Blake when it came to training. Looking at him one would find it hard to believe he has achieved so much while Blake leaves no stone unturned in training. Diet wise too, I heard Bolt eats everything that the coach does not want him to eat!” he said. When asked which of these two Jamaicans he would like to emulate, Mallick chuckled: “I would love to race like Usain, but train like Yohan.”

Mallick is expected to go to Jamaica later this year for another stint of training. “I am in touch with coach Mills. I send him my videos and they give their feedback. I try to implement them here with my coach Nelamadav Deo. I will always remember what Mills Sir told me. He said: ‘pain is a weakness which is leaving your body.’

Vast improvement
Mallick is feeling the drastic difference in his performance after the training stint. “Earlier, I would run 100m in 10.7 seconds. But now I am clocking 10.55 sec,” he said.

He is eager to compete in the June 5 Nationals meet which would also be a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. “I am confident of securing gold, but my aim is to finish the race in 10.30 seconds (qualifying time) which will also create a new national record. I am just hoping everything goes as planned,” he said.

Training insight

Amiya Mallick felt there was a vast difference in training programmes between India and Jamaica.

“Here we train in the gym for just two days a week, while in Jamaica we would do it four days in a week. No training is done without a video recording there, whereas in India a video recording is hardly done once in a month. There are different teams that work on your technique after analysing your video. One team works on your foot movements while another analyse your body posture, balance, etc. They help you optimise your performance,” he said.

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