Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Just under a year ago, Vikas Kumar Bind's coach was so frustrated with his results that he asked the youngster to pack his bags and go home. The 18-year-old was finding it difficult to pace himself in races and was finishing outside the top 10.
Interestingly, Bind asked his coach to give him some time to get his act together and the rest as they say is history. He was born and brought up in Bhadoi (Uttar Pradesh) but represents Madhya Pradesh.
Bind won the 3000m gold medal in the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games 2023 on Tuesday with a new meet record of 8 minutes 29.16 seconds. In November 2023, Bind clocked a timing of 8:18.06 to rewrite the 12-year-old Junior National Athletics meet record in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
"I can hardly believe what has been happening in the last one year. I did very poorly in first two competitions. At the National Cross Country, I finished 13th and in Youth Nationals I finished 10th. Coach S K Prasad was furious, he asked me to pack my bags and go home. The pressure was building on me. He decided to give one more chance. In the next Youth Nationals, I won my first medal, a silver and then Federation Cup I won bronze," said Bind, who trains at the Madhya Pradesh Athletics Academy.
"Today, I am over the moon," added Bind, whose father Shivpujan, a Home Guard pushed him to take up running.
Naturally, Bind first called his father immediately after winning the gold medal. "I haven't spoken to him in detail. I will do so once I reach the hotel. I want to make him and the country proud," he said.
Bind now has set a target of breaking Indrajeet Patel's National Record of 8:14.93 set way back in 2011 in Lille, France.
Given the way the Bhadoi-born middle-distance runner has set himself up in a bid to prove his worth to the coach and himself, the mark looks within his reach.