Image Credits: Team Fisto
M.P.Jabir is an Indian track and field athlete who competes in 400m hurdles and 400m sprint. He won his maiden International medal at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championship after he secured Bronze medal in 400m hurdles. He won a Bronze medal again at the Asian Athletics Championship 2019in the same event with a personal best of 49.13s. Jabir also represented India at the 2019 Athletics World Championships held in Doha, where he finishes fifth in semis and overall finishes 16th.
Here is an excerpt of his exclusive chat with Fisto Sports.
Who are some people that have been helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?
I had a coach Ajayan, he helped me a lot during the initial stages of my career. He covered my expenses and financed me when I was in 11 and 12th standard. My mother has also been extremely supportive of my sporting career. Immediately after my schooling, I joined the Navy and practiced there for a year. It was a year later in 2016, that I came to the National Camp.
Other than Athletics, what are other sports that you like the most?
Yeah, I love football. I follow it every bit of it extensively including the Europa League, Champions League, Indian Super League and many such leagues.
Who are some of your favourite athletes to compete against?
There is no specific athlete as such. But yeah, I competed against some of the world’s best athletes like KarstenWarholm at the World Championship 2019 Doha. It makes me feel really good.
What challenge/challenges, you have had to face as an athlete?
I haven’t been through many such challenges in my career thus far. But yes, injury in indubitably, one of the biggest challenge threatening every athlete’s career. Taking right decisions at right times has eluded me from many injuries, and has averted many potential challenges I would have faced otherwise. Yet, I got injured during the Asian Games 2018 and I regard it as the worst moment in my career thus far.
When did you get started hurdling?
I started in 2012. That was my initial stage and I was an amateur back then. I became a professional in the year 2014. So it’s been eight years down the lane since I started hurdling now.
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
Yeah, I to listen to my favourite music during the shower and also listen to motivational speeches. It drives me on and makes my mood blissful before going on to the track.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
I love playing video games during my free time. I also learn new things with the help of Youtube. During this quarantine time, I am exploring financial terms to make myself aware of things like investments, mutual funds, etc. We don’t get enough time for all this while we are practicing so whenever I get free time I try to learn new things.
Is there any hurdler whose races you watch more often?
Not really, I use to watch my own videos so that I can figure out my pros and cons and find out what’s pulling me down. But before the race, I usually watch videos of my competitors to make a comparative study in the differences between our styles.
How would you describe your running style, and which runner/sprinter would you compare it to?
Rhythm is my style. Maintaining rhythm is really important in a hurdle race. We take 14 steps between the first five hurdles and then 15 steps for the next five and this requires extreme concentration and rhythm.
Are there any particular memories from your Athletics career so far that stand out as being special to you?
I have represented my country in Asian Championship and World Championship. But my Inter-Services championship will always be special to me. I have improved my game and more importantly my timing during this Championship that has helped me in the future competitions.
Congratulations once again, on such a fantastic season! Can you give us the name of your coach and where you train?
I am training with my coach Galina Petrovna Bukhrina in United States of America.