Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Dev Kumar Meena, the 17-year-old pole vaulter who created history by setting the first national record in Khelo India Youth Games 2022 with 4.91-metre jump on Friday, said he didn’t use social media, mobile phone in last two months. “My coach took away my phone so that I don’t get diverted,” said Dev who hails from Dewas in Madhya Pradesh and has been training in pole vault for a year. “I come from family of farmers. Though this is one of the most dangerous and complex sports, that is exactly what fascinates me,” he added.
When questioned about the challenges of being an athlete, he said, "Maintaining continuity and a disciplined routine is the most difficult task." His coach Ghanshyam added, "I took away his phone so that he could stay focused. When you have bigger goals to achieve, letting go of distractions is necessary for an athlete." When Dev established the record, he attempted three times to set a higher one but came up just short each time. "My goal is not just to win a gold medal, but to set new records every time I perform. At this moment, my biggest competition is with myself," Dev told Free Press.
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