Madhya Pradesh’s barefoot sprinter, Rameshwar Gurjar, who had gone viral on social media earlier this week, finished last in a trial run conducted by the Sports Authority of India and the state government in Bhopal on Monday.
Rameshwar Gurjar’s trial run was conducted at T T Nagar Stadium by senior coaches of SAI and State Govt. Here, Rameshwar is seen running at extreme left. He is exhausted due to the glare of publicity so couldn’t perform well. Will give proper time and training to him. pic.twitter.com/RQtkxWFDFR
Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 19, 2019
Defending the 19-year-old sprinter after his poor performance in the trial, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted saying "My appeal; Pls don’t burden Rameshwar Gurjar with extra expectation. Will provide full support but pls remember, in athletics, there’s limit to human endurance. Besides coaching, it depends on both cardiovascular capacity & the metabolic characteristics of the skeletal muscles!"
Speaking after the race, Gurjar was quoted as saying in a ANI tweet that he had a back pain when he ran the race. He said he would stay at the academy for a month and was confident that if he was trained he would perform better. He also said that running with shoes had affected his performance and he liked to run barefoot.
Rameshwar Gurjar: I will stay here for one month and if I am trained I can perform better. Wearing shoes do impact my performance. I like to run barefoot. (19/8/2019) https://t.co/QJjsnBkCMi
- ANI (@ANI) August 19, 2019
Gurjar, whose video went viral on social media in which he is seen completing a 100-metre lap in "11 seconds", had expressed optimism of breaking Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds if he gets proper training.
Usain Bolt made a world record of 9.58 seconds for the 100 metres race. I am hopeful of breaking it after getting facilities and proper training," he had said on Sunday.
Gurjar has studied up to Class 10 and could not go to college due to his family’s weak financial condition. His "11-second-run" video was shared by former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, which led to Rijiju making a promise to arrange for the 19-year-old to be admitted to an athletics academy in the country.
India is blessed with talented inpiduals. Provided with right opportunity & right platform, they’ll come out with flying colours to create history!
Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) August 16, 2019
The national 100m record is 10.26 seconds, set by Amia Kumar Malik in 2016, as per the Athletics Federation of India website.