This article was published in the October issue of Sports Tribune magazine
Eighteen year-old Ashraful Islam Jhohan made headlines in the news and on social media when he broke the Guinness World record for doing the most number of side head stalls in a minute. Here we discuss in-depth about his journey to the world record, along with much more.
When did you start freestyling?
I would have to say it was around March 2016 when I seriously started to train freestyle.
Who was your inspiration?
If you ask who inspired me then it definitely has to be Syed Muktasid bhaia from South Africa. But he was born in Bangladesh and he was the first person to introduce me to this way of life when he came to Bangladesh. It was also a really cool experience to be a part of a video for his YouTube channel.
How did you realise you could break the Guinness World Record?
After watching a clip of Archis Patel (the former record holder) I thought I could also be capable of setting the record. Doing side head stalls was something that came more naturally to be and it’s something that I like doing a lot. So it was natural for me to attempt to break the record. And thankfully, it all worked out for me.
Are you currently the record holder?
Not currently. That’s why I applied to set a new record of 110 side head stalls ball control in one minute. I already filmed it and am planning to send it in a few days. It takes about three-four months for Guinness to see the video and then process the papers if I again have the world record.
Could you clarify on the process of how to apply for a Guinness World Record?
It is a long process of around 12 weeks. I made my first application on their website on February 21, 2018. Later on I was asked for my video evidence alongside witness statements after 12 weeks, after following all the procedures I could finally set a record on May 22, 2018. But I got the confirmation on September 1 from the GWR authority. There are two kinds of applications. I gave my video for the previous record in a standard. But there is also another application which costs more and they sent a team of judges and a setup for you to do the whole thing. It’s called a “priority application” and it takes six working days to get the certificate and it costs $600.
How has your life changed after you received the award?
I was getting a lot of exposure and I had to do a lot of TV and news interviews. A lot of talking. People were talking about me, they still are. I have a huge respect around my place now. Mom and dad were happy. All my cousins and relatives were happy. And proud. I also did a paid shooting for the Bangabandhu Gold Cup promo.
What are your hobbies apart from freestyling?
Apart from freestyling, I love doing cinematography, and playing football of course. I have my YouTube channel where you can find videos of me doing freestyle. I want to give that more time but because of studies I can’t always film and edit since it takes up a lot of time.
What are the challenges you’ve faced doing freestyling if any?
As a Freestyler my training every day is a new challenge for me. It’s about trying to get better than I was yesterday. I still have a long way to go, to be honest.
What are your future goals with freestyling?
To compete at the World Championship, Super Ball which takes place at Prague every year. I am looking forward to take part hopefully next year.
Any message you’d like to share with kids your age and those interested in freestyling?
If there’s anyone who wants to learn freestyle or be like me or any other freestyler out there, they got to train hard every day, have patience and believe in themselves. If they are having any kind of trouble with any trick, they can always look for tutorials on YouTube or ask any freestyler on Instagram. They are always there to help.