Yoonus Shah, from Uttar Pradesh, won the 1500m race by creating a new Games record in the 1500m event at Khelo India University Games 2022, is working hard and aims to break the national record of 3:35.24 minutes that was set by Jinson Johnson in 2009.
The 21-year-old Yoonus created a new meet record of 3:51.61 minutes at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College track in Lucknow. He improved upon the previous meet record of 3:52.54 minutes representing Mahatma Jyotiba Phule University, Bareilly.
"I can do even better. I achieved a timing of 3:45 minutes earlier. I am putting in a lot of effort to break the national record. Presently, my full focus is on the World University Games, with trials scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar next month," said Yunus in a media release.
Yoonus, who hails from the village Patihan in the Pilibhit district, dreams to represent India and win a medal in the Olympics."My dream is to win a medal for our nation. I compete in the 1500m and 800m races, but the 1500m race is my favorite. My father is a farmer.
Besides my parents, I have a brother and a sister. Currently, I am training under coach Vipin Lohit at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi," he said.Recalling his journey, Yoonus said, "I went to play for Sevaram Nathu Ram Inter College in Jograjpur, Pilibhit in 2018.
Coach Dinesh Pandey asked me to participate in the event. I performed well there, and then Dinesh Sir advised me to compete in the district-level events in Pilibhit. I won gold medals in the 800m, 1500m, and 5000m races. After that, I started training and represented the UP state as well."
Yoonus is participating in the Khelo India University for the maiden time."I have previously competed in the All India University Games. My race finish timing there was 3:45. I have also ran for the Uttar Pradesh state team.
In the Uttar Pradesh state meet that took place in Meerut, I won a silver medal in the 1500m event and a bronze medal in the 800m event," he revealed.Talking about his experience at the Khelo India University Games, Yoonus said, "It is an excellent platform.
My first experience of participating here has been great. It provides a very good exposure to young athletes. I also received good exposure. The facilities here were of International standard. The track was excellent, and that helped me a lot to perform better."