Run Moses Run                               Men and Women |2/3/2003

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Edwin Moses. And he leaves Martin D'Souza short-winded after a marathon chat

His exploits on the track and field are legendary. It was his jet speed, combined with planned stride pattern (he took only 13 strides between hurdles) that was the secret of his success. If today, hurdlers don't jump over hurdles, but simply run over them, it's because Edwin Moses set the style.

Even today, at 47, Moses covers distance gracefully. He does not walk, he appears to glide by. He minces no words when he says that the key to success is focus and motivation, coupled with intense competition at all levels. "Look at the US, we have competitions at every level, be it school, college or university. We are the only country in the world that has this kind of system. That's why we are good. Indian sportspersons and administrators need to follow these guidelines," are his golden words.

On his first trip to India from the US, he soaks in the sights of Mumbai. The Nehru Planetarium at Worli, catches his eye and he wants to know more. "India is famous for carpets, right?" he inquires. "Are they expensive?" Moses is also tuned in to what is happening on the border. "We read a lot about Jammu and Kashmir and India and Pakistan back home. What is the status?" he asks.

The Indian beauties who have catapulted to international fame are also on his mind. "The last six years have been amazing. You have had the Miss Universe and Miss World. The whole Indian fashion industry has grown in the West. Even your films are being noticed, Bend It Like Beckham and the musical Bombay Dreams."

As the interview winds its way to the last lap, one becomes aware that it was a close encounter with a legend. The fabled nine times 400m hurdles world record holder seems blissfully unaware of the legacy.

Best viewed in internet explorer 6 and above.

Copyright 2006 Martin D'Souza. All rights reserved.