Tintu makes her mark in Brussels meet

Tintu’s 2:00.79 at the Memorial Van Damme meet was the second best performance by an Indian behind Shiny Wilson’s 1:59.85.

More importantly, the 21-year-old showed a composure that should stand her in good stead in the meets to come.

In the 12-woman field that included Kenya’s 2007 world champion Janeth Jepkosgei, season’s leader Alysia Johnson and reigning world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa, Tintu was ahead at the 600M mark in 1:28.75 but her experienced rivals pulled past as the Indian struggled to hold on in the straight. Jepkosgei won the race while Semenya was third.

Her coach P T Usha was largely happy with her performance even though the target of breaking the two-minute barrier remained unfulfilled. According to Usha, the plan was to run the first 400 in 57.5 seconds but Tintu went a shade faster at 56 seconds and that had a bearing on her final time.

Usha reckoned that given her relative inexperience and the cold weather conditions, it was a creditable performance by Tintu. Both Jepkosgei and Semenya will be in New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games, making Tintu’s task tougher.

Tintu and Usha will now move on to Split, Croatia, for the Continental Cup next week. Tintu will be representing Asia in the event.

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