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In 2022, Fed Cup 200m gold winner Animesh asks his current coach to take him under his wings

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Bhubaneswar, May 13 (PTI) Sprinter Animesh Kujur, who won the men's 200m gold at the Federation Cup here on Monday, has an interesting story to tell when in 2022 he had requested his current coach Martin Owens to take him under his wings without even knowing his credentials.

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Owens is currently the head coach of Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High Performance Centre here since 2022.

"After I competed at an event in Bilaspur (in Chhattisgarh) in 2022, I saw a foreigner with a lot of athletes by his side. So, I knew he was a coach. I straightaway requested him to take me under him. I even did not know his name," Kujur said after his gold-winning effort with a timing of 20.62 seconds.

"He said all right and took some tests after a few months and he agreed to coach me. That is how I am currently training under Martin Owens at the Reliance Foundation HPC." By virtue of currently training in Bhubaneswar, Kujur represented Odisha in the meet. Kujur's time was one-tenth of a second off the two-year old national record of 20.52 seconds in the name of Amlan Borgohain.

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The 20-year-old Kujur was also wearing his old spike shoes though some wear and tear can be seen on them.

"I have many spikes but wearing these shoes for the last one year." He was also confident that he can qualify for the Paris Olympics by breaching the qualifying time of 20.16 seconds in the coming months.

"My next competition is in Europe and I am hoping for some more events after that also. I have been improving my personal best and so I am hoping to breach the Paris Games qualifying time." The Paris Olympics qualifying window closes on June 30. PTI PDS PDS SSC SSC

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