Mohammad Anas Yahiya scripted history yesterday after becoming only the second Indian after legendary Milkha Singh to qualify for the finals of any track event in Commonwealth Games.
Mohammad Anas, clocked 45.44 seconds in semi-finals to qualify for the finals of 400m, which is less than what Flying Sikh clocked in Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 1958. He also defeated Rio Olympics Silver medalist Rusheen McDonald in the heat to qualify.
Milkha Singh won the gold medal way back in 1958 CWG with the timings of 46.6 seconds in men’s 400m (which was called 440 yards in 1958), which also made him the first ever gold medalist in CWG from independent India.
India had to wait long 56 years after that for their next individual gold medalist in athletics as discus thrower Vikas Gowda in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games became only the second individual gold medal winner in athletics for the country.
But since 1959, no Indian runner has managed to qualify for the final stage of the Games but thankfully Anas Yahiya broke this deadlock and the national record holder will take the field in the finals of men’s 400m.
Anas clocked 45.96 seconds in first round to advance for the semis, where he get even better and clocked 45.44 to top the heat and in this process he also defeated the Rio Olympics and World Championship Silver medalist Rusheen McDonald. He won his heat by a margin of 0.33 seconds from the Jamaican heavyweight.
Yahiya is scheduled to take part in the finals on 10th April, , at 5:20 pm IST and he would have to come with something special to steal a medal here.
Only one medal has come in India’s way today, that too from shooting after Heena Sidhu smashed the CWG Record to grab the much needed gold medal for India.
With this gold, India’s medal tally swells to 20 (11 Gold, 4 Silver and 5 Bronze).