Four years ago, the name of Nisar Ahmad was shining within the Indian athletics fraternity. The Khelo India and Youth Olympics prodigy was showing a promising future and with the aid of social media abundance, the Indian sports-loving community nicknamed him as the Usain Bolt of the country. Unfortunately, the following two years saw a couple of setbacks including missing the Tokyo Olympics, which sent the sprinter into depression. Fast forward to the present, the young track and field star is hopeful of making a remarkable return to the track.
“I was disappointed not to be part of the Olympics,” Ahmad said in a recent interview with Sportstar, “Some of my friends from Youth Olympics in 2018 were there. Srihari Nataraj, the swimmer, who is my very good friend; and shooter Manu Bhaker, who is also a good friend (were there). I wasn’t happy that I got left behind.”
After winning gold at the 2018 Khelo India in the 100m category clocking a time of 10.76 seconds, Nisar Ahmad made it to Jamaica, the cradle of sprinters, and underwent training side by side with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. The year saw another foreign trip for Ahmad- to Buenos Aires, Argentina to represent his country at the 2018 Youth Olympics.
“Many athletes were motivated by me in those years, and many people came here to see me train as well,” Ahmad reflected on his rise to fame, “Many kids said, ‘We started to pursue sprint-running after watching your videos, and we also want to do something for our parents and our nation.’ I won medals and broke records. But I have to leave that period behind and move ahead. I don’t want to restrict myself to just that much.”
However, things changed in the following year. An age-verification test failure prior to the 2019 National Youth Championships, followed by a hamstring injury only days after bagging a 200m gold at the Indian Grand Prix, ruined the season and the year for him. 2020 not only saw the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic but also an accident that his mother sustained in the month of May which sent Ahmad into depression.
“My mother was in coma for a while and I was in depression. All our money was spent on her treatment and I wasn’t able to train well because I was tense,” the sprinter from Delhi went on, “In 2021, my mother and I were down with COVID-19. It weakened my mother and the recovery she was making after the accident was nullified. It seemed we might not be able to save her, but by God’s grace she’s with us now. I recovered from COVID-19, too.
The son of a rickshaw puller father and a domestic help mother, Ahmad knew hardships all along, and after all that he has undergone in the last two years, the sprinter is ready to make a stunning comeback in action.
“Now I’m back in the groove, and training well. I won medals when my father was a rickshaw puller and mother a domestic help, so why can’t I do it now? I’m confident of performing well in the state competitions and qualifying for the nationals,” he added.
- Indian sprinter Nisar Ahmad, nicknamed ‘India’s Usain Bolt’, is ready to make a superb return after two years of setback
- The Delhi-born sprinter won gold at the 2018 Khelo India Games and represented India at the 2018 Youth Olympics
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