The Pakistan Army has recruited TikTok star Mohammad Asif Magsi whose video of jumping over 11 bikes went viral on social media last week.
In several interviews, Magsi said he wished to join the army and his desire was fulfilled this Saturday as he will now receive training from the army’s athletics coach.
Twenty-one-year-old Magsi became an overnight sensation after his videos went viral on TikTok and Facebook. He has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, where he mostly posts videos of himself making long jumps over streams and motorcycles.
Speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Tuesday, Magsi said he has been doing this since childhood.
“I practiced consistently to make the leap [in viral video]. I started from five bikes, then took it to seven and then to 11 bikes,” he said. “I’ve had a few injuries but none of them were ever serious.”
Athletics Federation of Pakistan President Major General (retd) Muhammad Akram Sahi was keen on training him. He even invited Magsi to Lahore where he would be trained by professional coaches so that he can represent Pakistan on an international level. However, Magsi preferred being trained by the Pakistan Army instead.
The federation president thanked Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for inviting the long-jumper over to the army. “[Magsi] will prove to be an asset for Pakistan’s athletics. The federation is available if any help is needed,” Major General (retd) Sahi said.
The prodigy even got the attention of legendary American Olympian Carl Lewis who is a former track and field athlete. Lewis won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold.
In his Twitter post, Lewis praised Magsi’s fearless attitude while jumping over bikes. He feels Magsi has the perfect mindset needed to make it big in athletics.
Actually with his lack of fear, he has the perfect mindset. https://t.co/qYOTX40Cvn— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 3, 2020
The 21-year-old has his eyes fixed on setting the world record for longest jump in the history.