London-bound athletes feted

London-bound athletes feted

London-bound athletes feted

 Sitting quietly and smelling the rose garland around his neck, Evgen Nikitin would have wondered what the fuss was all about.

India’s high jump coach, coming from Ukraine, a country with a solid presence on the Olympic firmament, wasn’t just a bemused guest at a function to honour the Olympics-bound athletes training in Bangalore. As the coach of high jumper Sahana Kumari,Evgen too was among those feted at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. But the hard-taskmaster in him wouldn’t have been pleased with the distraction, even though it was his ward who was basking in the limelight. Evgen said Sahana was going through an intense training programme. Asked what her target would be, he replied: “It’s a secret.”

Besides Sahana and Evgen, 20Km walkers Baljinder Singh, KT Irfan and 50Km walker Basant Bahadur Rana were honoured by the Karnataka Athletic Associaiton along with their coach Ramakrishna Gandhi.

“We are training hard and hope to clock a good time in London,” said Irfan, the walker from Madras Regimental Centre who stormed into limelight with some stupendous performances this season. Rana, who hails from Nepal but is an Indian citizen now and is part of the Gorkha Regiment, felt he had the experience to do well in London.

Gurmeet Singh, the other 20Km walker, couldn’t make it to the function as he had a training session in the evening. Coach Gandhi certainly wouldn’t have wanted him to miss that, and he wasn’t very pleased as the media personnel kept the walkers in their hold.

Evgen too wasn’t pleased as the interviews continued. The Ukrainian certainly knows that this isn’t the time to stop and smell the roses.

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