ISLAMABAD: Pakistani TikTok user and long jumper Asif Magsi said on Tuesday he had been invited for training by the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) after videos of him jumping over motorcycles and lakes went viral on social media last week.
Magsi, who hails from Thatta in the southern Sindh province, works at his uncle’s fish farm by day and developed long jump skills while making TikTok videos by night. The 21-year-old from a poor family of 10 has never been professionally trained and has only studied until the eighth grade.
“I got a phone call from AFP president Major General Akram Sahi to come to Lahore for training,” Magsi told Arab News in a phone interview. “I am planning to go to Lahore in a couple of days.”
He added that he was “very happy.”
In the beginning, Magsi said he could jump over five motorcycles parked in a row but can now cross eleven, as seen in a viral video of him shared on various social media platforms. He said he was unaware of long jump records but could cross nearly 25 feet or 7.6 meters. The world record for the long jump is 8.95 meters while the Asian record is 8.33 meters.
“I was not expecting my video made almost a week ago will get so much attention,” Magsi said, adding that he wanted to represent Pakistan at international games. “Now everyone in my family and people in the area are happy.”
Nine-times Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis took to twitter to appreciate Magsi, saying “with his lack of fear, he has the perfect mindset.”
Actually with his lack of fear, he has the perfect mindset. https://t.co/qYOTX40Cvn
— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 3, 2020
In an interview to local media, the national athletics federation chairman said he had called Magsi and asked him to stop performing stunts as he could injure himself.
“Instead, I have asked him to meet me in Lahore along with his father,” he said. “There is no denying the fact that Asif has amazing potential and now we want to channelize this potential into a medal winning one at the Asian and world level.”
“The AFP will train him and look after him,” the chief said. “A coach will be deputed with him so that he can get the most modern and latest coaching on how to improve on his talent.”