By Jatindra Dash
Bhubaneswar: Odisha sprinter Amiya Mallick is on strict diet and fitness regime as he prepares to train in Jamaica under Glen Mills, the coach of sprint king Usain Bolt.
“My diet had been specific in the past several weeks. I am avoiding oily and spicy food. I have been avoiding eating out. Besides, I am focusing on protein, green boiled vegetables,” Mallick told IANS here in an interview.
The 21-year-old sprinter, who has the best individual timing of 10.50 seconds in the 100-metre and 21.22 seconds in the 200m, would leave for Jamaica Sunday. He was ranked India’s No.1 in men`s 200m in 2009.
He bagged a gold medal in 200m clocking 21.22 seconds at the National Athletic Championship in Ranchi in September last year.
“Anil Kumar Prakash holds the current 200 metres national record of 20.73 second and my aim is to break that. I will work hard to achieve the speed,” said Mallick, who is pursuing Master’s in Business Administration in Bhubaneswar-based KIIT University.
“Usually most of the parents want that their children should play badminton, tennis or cricket but I am lucky that my parents have been always supportive to me. Besides family, coach, friends and colleagues all encouraged and helped me,” he added.
The sprinter said during the training he would sharpen skills to improve his timing. “My target is to qualify for the two important events this year,” said Mallick, who began his sports activities from his schooling days.
“They are Commonwealth Games at Glasgow in Canada scheduled in July-August and the Asian Games at Incheon in South Korea in September-October this year,” he said.
Mallick has already been credited for his impressive state, national and international athletic feats.
“Like every athlete, I do have Olympic dreams, but I am not in a hurry. I want to go step by step,” he said.
A native of Olansh village in Cuttack district, Mallick’s father Arakhita works as a section officer in the education department of the state government and stays in the state capital here.
Amiya’s mother is a housewife and sister is doing Bachelor in Technology at a private engineering college in Bhubaneswar.
Mallick’s dream came true when the world famous Racers Track Club, founded by Mills at Jamaica, accepted his request to train him.
He will be able to undergo the five-month training from Jan 15 with the financial assistance from the state government and the Odisha Olympic Association among others.
Mallick had an open quadriceps surgery about two years ago after he suffered a serious leg injury at Bangalore in October 2011. He returned to action in December 2012.
“He is an excellent athlete. He has always made us proud. We are confident he will bring more glory to the state and the country,” Odisha Olympic Association general secretary Ashirbad Behera said.