Jakarta Asian Champion 2018 1500m Jinson Johnson is on track to recover from an injured Achilles tendon and hopes to regain his fitness by June and qualify for the upcoming Olympics.
In November 2019, a middle-distance runner from Kerala injured his Achilles tendon during a training session in Colorado Springs, USA. It took a long time to recover. He even missed the Federation Cup held this month in Patiala due to a lack of full preparation.
But now things are getting better. “I started training hard and it gives me confidence that I will succeed in the next two months. By June I should be able to win an Olympic berth during the Interstate Athletics Championships in Bengaluru,” Johnson told IANS.
The qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics is 3 minutes 35 seconds, while Johnson’s personal record is 3 minutes 35.24 seconds.
The 2018 season was the highlight of the army runner’s career. At the British Coast Games at the Gold Coast in April of that year, he broke a two-year national record in the 1,500 meters, finishing fifth with a time of 3 minutes 37.86 seconds. The previous recording was 3 minutes 38 seconds in the name of Bahadur Prasad.
Also, in June 2018, Johnson erased the four-year national record in the 800 meters from Sriram Singh of 1 minute 45.98 seconds, scoring 1 minute 45.65 seconds in Guwahati. He continued his good form, winning the 1500m title at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta in August. He also won silver in the 800 meters.
After his brilliant run in the 2018 season, Johnson is expected to continue his good form next year and in the 2020 Olympics. But last March, the Olympics were rescheduled for 2021 due to Covid-19.
But for Johnson, the 2019 season was not as fruitful, and things started to get worse later in the year as he was removed from an Achilles tendon injury.
However, the champion of the Asian Games approached the race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo during the European circuit in June 2019, turning 3 minutes 35.24 seconds – his personal achievement. But then his form sank and he suffered an injury.
“It was a bad phase in my career. But I’m happy to go back to the good old racing days. I started with moderate training in January, which was the reason I missed the Indian Grand Prix. My goal is to avoid the burnout and gradually he regained his physical shape, “Johnson said.
After the American Athletics Federation excludes an international middle distance runner tour in the near future due to average results in the Federation Cup this month in Patiala, athletes like Johnson will have to rely on domestic matches to qualify for the Olympics.
“We hope to miss the time for the Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo in June. This will be my last chance,” he said.