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Odisha high jumper Swadhin Majhi’s impressive progress at Reliance Foundation Odisha HPC



Twenty-year-old Swadhin Majhi, who hails from Angul in Odisha, produced an impressive performance at the recently held All India Inter-University Athletics Championship for Men in Mangalore to return with a bronze medal in the High Jump event. Majhi, who trains at the Reliance Foundation Odisha Athletics High Performance Centre (HPC) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, came with a personal best of 2.08 metres for the third place in the event. He would have performed better, had he not sustained an ankle injury during his first attempt at 2.11m.

Based on his observations at the meet in Mangalore, Reliance Foundation Odisha HPC Head Coach James Hillier has identified some technical aspects to improve Majhi’s performance.

 “With Swadhin, I have been focusing on his body positions in the run up and particularly in the last three strides,” said Hillier. “I feel that he is not setting up the jump optimally yet. He is improving but these technical changes take time,” he added.

The other eye-catching effort at the Mangalore meet came from sprinter Amlan Borgohain, who has been training at the HPC since 2019. Borgohain, who produced a spectacular run at the National Open Athletics in Warangal last year in the 200m to win Gold, clinched silver in the 100m, producing timings of 10.58, 10,55 and 10.50 seconds in his three races over the competition. Expressing satisfaction over Borgohain’s performance at Mangalore, Hillier said that it was too early in the season for athletes to be producing their best timings.

 “We are still in a general preparation phase and have only been training for eight weeks so this was always going to be more of a competition that we took in our stride rather than something we specifically targeted,” said Hillier. “Amlan made a couple of errors in the final that ultimately cost him the gold, but I’m sure he has learnt from his mistakes and he will be a better athlete from it.”

With high profile events such as the Commonwealth and Asian Games scheduled for later this year, Borgohain is focused on being in the peak of shape to put his best foot forward at those competitions. The coaching staff and support teams have identified critical interventions needed to ensure he arrives at these competitions with the best preparation possible.

The World University Games, scheduled to be held in China in June this year is of immediate interest to Borgohain.

 “I have been focusing on him trying to lose a little bit of weight whilst maintaining his strength,” said Hillier. “We have been doing that by meticulously monitoring his food intake to ensure that he is not over-fueled for training.”

Though training programs are modified due to Covid-induced restrictions, Hillier is eager to ensure that his athletes keep their mind healthy during these trying times. He is quite optimistic that more athletes from the Reliance Foundation Odisha HPC will produce impressive results in 2022.

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