Palakkad: Keralite Mohammed Afsal Pulikkalakath, who clinched the silver medal in the men’s 800m at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, arrived in his hometown of Parali, Palakkad, in the early hours of Thursday.
With the medal in his hands, Afsal went up to his old sports teacher, Manoj, creating an emotional moment for both.
Sharing his thanks, Afsal said, “I firmly believe that Manoj sir played a significant part in my life’s success. I am always thankful to him. I consider myself fortunate to have a mentor like him, someone who guides students with both love and points out their mistakes.”
In response, Manoj emphasized that the medal secured by Afsal is the most significant recognition he has received in his life. He also expressed hope that Afsal would serve as an inspiration for students in Parali who are gearing up for the state sports meet.
Originally from Ottapalam, Mohammed Afsal joined Parali School in class 8, and within a year, he became the shining star of the school. His journey led him to secure a job in the Indian Air Force as a junior warrant officer.
Afsal gifted his Indian jersey and presents received from the organisers of the Asian Games to his coach, Manoj.