Cricket's loss is athletics' gain

Cricket's loss is athletics' gain

Focus on sports talent

Muthanna KY

You can’t really blame Muthanna KY, a promising sprinter from Karnataka, for having little interest in running, four years ago. Like millions of Indian kids, cricket was his first love. As a nine-year-old, he hit the running track only to get the athleticism required for cricket. 

But sometimes, you find your true calling in unexpected places. It was one decision from coach Bindu Rani that gave an interesting twist to Muthanna’s sporting journey. The former India quartermiler fielded him in the Bangalore Urban District Athletic Association (BUDAA) meet. 

Competing as a non-regular, Muthanna clinched the bronze to the surprise of many. The win revealed the runner in Muthanna. “Since cricket was his first priority, it took us some time to correct his technique. Especially his running posture required changes. So that was a bit of a challenge early on”, recollects Bindu. 

Even as he made encouraging strides in running, Muthanna’s heart longed for cricket. 

“It was very hard to come out of cricket. I loved the sport,” says the 13-year-old. There came a point where he had to take the tough call. Going by the results, Bindu and his parents felt it was time to bid goodbye to cricket.  

Muthanna’s record last year is a clear indication that he belonged to running. His thorough domination in State championship was a result of steady improvement. The seventh standard student of Bethany High School emerged U-14 100 metres champion in the BUDAA meet, ICSE State championship and South Zone selection meet in Udupi. Muthanna took a step forward by clinching the U-14 100 metres bronze in the South Zone Championship in Udupi in a time of 11.85 seconds. 

‘Toughest race’

It was at the School Games Federation of India Games (SGFI) at Sangrur in Punjab last year that Muthanna clocked his best timing in U-14 100 metres, a race he calls his toughest so far. “I timed 11.70 at the SGFI Games. It was a stiff test for me and I finished fifth,” he says. 

Son of Yogendra, an assistant manager in KPMG and Reshma, a banker at Edelweiss, Muthanna aims to make a mark at the upcoming national meets.

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