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Sprinter Amoj Jacob credits one-month stay in Bahamas for Paris Olympics berth

28 May, 2024 14:35 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Indian sprinter Amoj Jacob, who is part of the men's 4x400m relay team, credited the month-long stay in the Bahamas for securing the Paris Olympics berth.

The quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Muhammed Ajmal, Arokia Rajiv and Jacob clocked 3:03.23 and finished behind the American team in the Olympic Qualifying Round 2 of the World Relays Championship in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Coached by Jamaican Jason Dawson and financially supported by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the team reached the Bahamas a month ahead of the event to acclimatise itself.

In a freewheeling chat with SAI Media, Amoj Jacob, who ran the anchor leg, talks about qualifying for Paris 2024 and the team’s magical show in last year’s World Athletics Championships when it broke the sub-3-minute mark twice in finishing fifth.

"The acclimatisation in the Bahamas was very useful. The time zone difference would have made things difficult for us. We were unable to sleep or recover well. It was good that we went a month earlier. And we were all ready for the competition two weeks prior. Then we worked out and got there and qualified," he said.

When asked about his thoughts after qualifying for the quadrennial event, Jacob detailed how everything panned out for them in the Bahamas.

"The experience was really good as last year we clocked sub-3 minute times. Our target was to register a time between 3:00 and 3:10 so that our confidence is high going into the Paris Olympics. We reached Bahamas a month prior to the World Relays, thanks to Sports Authority of India and Athletics Federation of India. Other teams had reached Nassau just a week ahead of the event.

"My body took almost a week to adapt to the weather conditions and time difference there. I was sleeping in the afternoon and not being able to sleep at night due to the time zone change. The entire team encountered the same problem and it was good that we reached Bahamas a month earlier. However, looking at the same beach every day did get boring," he said.

"Our main target was to qualify for Paris 2024. It was unfortunate that Rajesh Ramesh suffered a hamstring injury in the Olympic Qualifying Round 1. Else, the team could have comfortably clocked below 3-minute time. Despite the setback, we were able to book our berth for Olympics. That is highly motivating," Jacob continued.

After teammate Rajesh Ramesh’s injury, Arokia Rajiv replaced him in the team and it was an easy transition as the latter was training with them.

"It was easy because we were practicing together. And we had trained the baton exchange with different combinations. The only concern was to ensure that no one else got injured. In fact, it is easier than 100 meters relay where better coordination is required. So, it was an easy transition for us. And because Rajiv was with us for a long time, he was in the camp, he was our senior. So, he knew what to expect and what not. And it was easy only," Jacob said.

The 26-year-old athlete added that the team was under a lot of pressure after their landmark below three-minute performance in Budapest last year.

"There was no such pressure now but it was immense pressure during the World Championships final and in the Asian Games. We knew that we had the US in our Heats and they mostly run below 3 minutes. So, our plan was to stay close to them in the race, which will not only improve our time but also help us qualify for Paris Games," Jacob concluded.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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