'Groom athletes to face worst situations'

Usha School trainees may come to City for practise, says P T Usha

'Groom athletes to face worst situations'

Expressing unhappiness over the performance of young Indian athletes in the athletic games in recent years, legendary sprinter P T Usha said apart from providing infrastructure to the budding athletes, it is also important for the athletes to groom themselves to be tough to meet even the worst situations.

Speaking to mediapersons during her visit to the city to view the newly laid synthetic track at Mangala Stadium on Sunday, she rated the performance of Indian athletes in the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships as not satisfactory. “There was a time when I used to win four gold medals alone, and today the entire athletics team is not in a position to win four gold medals altogether and they could win only two gold medals in the Asian Championships. The current generation athletes are not in a position to break the old records set by some of the last generation athletes. It is quite disappointing that the gap of winning margin has been increasing which was evident in the Asian Championships too,” she said.

On asked about the requirements to boost athletics in the country, she said synthetic tracks should be developed in every district and much needed infrastructure must be provided to nurture talents. Speaking about Usha School of Athletics in Kozhikode, where Usha trains the budding athletes, she said apart from Tintu Luka who grabbed medals in the Asian Athletics Championships, there are other athletes in the junior category who are having the potential to make it big. “Young athletes like Jessy Joseph, Shabana are the record holding candidates who have proved their capacity,” she said.

Movie on Milkha inspirational

Commenting on the movie ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’ that is based on the life of athlete Milkha Singh and was released on Friday, P T Usha said she has watched the movie and found it inspirational.

Athletes must watch the movie as it shows the struggle of an athlete to achieve big even amidst adversities.

Athletics is highly painful sports and the younger athletes are finding it difficult to cope up with the load, she said.

Usha who arrived at the stadium along with a team of her trainee athletes, observed the synthetic track and said it was ‘quite good.’

“There are three synthetic tracks in Kerala. The Usha Academy athletes were often taken to the Infosys stadium synthetic track in Mysore for training. Now, with Mangalore having a synthetic track, trainees from my Academy can come and practise in Mangalore,” she said.

‘Give chance  to Ashwini Akkunji’
When asked about the attempts made by athlete Ashwini Akkunji, who was banned from sports for doping, to get back to athletics, P T Usha said Ashwini should be given a chance. “She is still young and she should come back. Let her do her best in the field. Athletes should not be discouraged for the small mistakes,” she told.

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