LALU MUHAMMAD ZOHRI’S GOLDEN RUN PUTS INDONESIA ON THE ATHLETICS MAP
|© Roger Sedres|
|It was 10 seconds that shook up the world of sprinting – 10.18 seconds, to be precise, the amount of time it took Lalu Muhammad Zohri to stun the superpowers and grab 100m gold at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018.
In the 32-year history of this event, Indonesia’s best ever result was an eighth-place finish in a quarter-final back in 1986, but things have changed since then, changed utterly.
In recent days the nation’s president, Joko Widodo, offered his congratulations to Zohri and ordered cabinet ministers to arrange that their sporting hero’s house be renovated, while for Zohri himself, the hours since the final have passed in a haze of beautiful bewilderment.
“I didn’t realise the reaction, but this is amazing,” he said. “Now I am crafting history and I’m very proud.”
For a kid from a poor background, one who grew up in a small house made of wood and woven bamboo, who a couple of years ago had to ask his older sister for a loan to buy running shoes, this was an extraordinary achievement.
But it was far from a fluke, because for quite a while Zohri’s talent has been blossoming under the guidance of two high-calibre Indonesian coaches and one international consultant who, it’s fair to say, knows a thing or two about creating champions.
• Full feature on Lalu Muhammad Zohri
Winners of 100m at IAAF World U20 Championships