World Relays important exposure ahead of Tokyo 2020: Muhammed Anas Yahiya

Amid deteriorating Covid-19 situation in the country, the Indian athlete is preparing for the World Relays set to get underway from May 1 in Poland

By Olympic Channel Writer

Muhammed Anas Yahiya is looking at the World Relays, starting from May 1 in Poland, as the final dress rehearsal ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The 2008 Asian Games (team event) gold medallist will be a part of the Indian contingent in the 4x400m mixed relay, which is set to make its debut in Tokyo 2020.

“We were supposed to have an exposure tour in Turkey but now we hear that there is a lockdown there. As far as the World Relays are concerned, it is an important competition that will give us a lot of experience ahead of the Olympics," Anas, who holds the national record for 400m, told the New Indian Express.

Anas has his visa prepared to travel to Poland for the World event. But amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, he still awaits for a travel advisory from the apex body.

Muhammed Anas Yahiya in action (Courtesy: AFI/Twitter)

"So far, there’s been no travel advisory provided to us and we are waiting for instructions and guidance from the Federation and the officials. We hope they will make the necessary arrangements. Yes, there is the fear surrounding Covid, but if done right, we can participate in it safely. It’s a difficult situation but we have to hope for the best,” Anas said.

The 26-year-old has been training at the SAI centre in Patiala since last year. He has been taking necessary precautions and kept himself physically fit for the mega events coming up this year.

“Till now, I’m safe and haven’t been affected by the virus. But when you look around, the situation is so concerning and scary. Living in such uncertainty is challenging but we have to do what we can to deal with the situation,” said Anas.

“So far, thanks to regular testing and taking all necessary precautions, I’ve managed to train and look after myself. I’m injury free and in good physical condition and the idea now is to focus only on things that I can control. Rest, we’ll have to see how things go,” he said.

The Tokyo 2020 will be the second Olympic appearance for Anas as he had participated in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the Rio Games in 2016.