CWG has raised Indian sporting hopes:Suresh Babu

CWG has raised Indian sporting hopes:Suresh Babu

"The unprecdented crop of medals in the CWG has not only confounded the harshest critics of the Indian athletics but also exceeded the expectations of the most optimistic aficionados," Babu told PTI here.

"The uninterrupted training given in the national camps since October 2008 plus the home advantage had largely contributed to the scenario, which has raised the hopes of the nation to look forward to getting the Olympic medals in 2012 in London," he said.

"We should ensure combining of training and keeping the tempo till the next Olympics. Special training by the very best international coaches should be imparted to the outstanding athletes," he said Babu saw great potential in Tintu Luke (800m), Vikas Gowda (discus), Kirshna Poonia (discus) and the 4x400 m women relay quartet as Olympic medal material.

Also, Ranjit Maheshwari (triple jump), Mayukha Johny (long jump) and Om Prakash (shot put) have bright prospects, he said. "The Government and the powers that be should leave no stone unturned for the success of these athletes. Apart from special coaching, they should also be made to attend the Grand Prix or lesser international meets."

Krishna Poonia has shown phenomenal improvement thanks to her special coaching by Mac Williams (USA), who won the discus gold in Montereal in 1976. There is no reason why the US-based Vikas Gowda should also be helped financially to undergo specialised coaching by Williams. Gowda has all the physical criteria to win an Olympic medal

A former national champion (1972-1979) and record holder and winner of international medals in high jump, long jump, triple jump and decathlon, versatile Babu was captain and flag bearer of the Indian teams in the world University games in Morocco (1973), Commonwealth Games in Edmonton (1978) and pre-Olympic  in Spartakiad (1979). He was also National Coach for five years and chief national coach in 1989.