Usha asks athletes to report sexual harassments immediately

Last Updated : 29 July 2010, 14:51 IST

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"It is bad for Indian sports and I feel bad for the players though I have never experienced it in my career," she told reporters here. "Such things mainly happen but anyway it is not good," added Usha after her protege Tintu Luka won gold in women's 800m race in the third Asian All Star Meet here.

Usha, who missed a bronze medal by a whisker in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, felt athletes who faced sexual harassment from officials or coaches should come out immediately with their complaint instead of remaining silent for years just like Olympic bronze medallist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari.

"Malleswari kept quite for long years and she has come out just now. The players should come out immediately. Only then such things could be stopped," she said. Usha said her protege Luka has a chance to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games but admitted it would be tough.

"In athletics, Australia, England, Canada and Jamaica are very strong. I am hoping that she can a win a medal. To do that she has to run sub two minutes," she said. "My target for her is to run sub two minutes and win gold in the Asian Games in China. In the Commonwealth Games I am not going to push much as she is very young and the competition will be very tough," she said of Luka, who won gold in 800m with her personal best of 2:01.24.

"She could have run sub two minutes if there was somebody to push her in the second lap today. She ran very fast in the first lap but slowed down in the second as she was running alone," said Usha. Asked about Luka's preparations for this year's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, she said, "She will run in the two Diamond League series on August 13 in London and August 27 in Brussels."

She also gave a thumbs-up to the state-of-the-art Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, which will be the main venue of the October 3-14 Delhi Games, saying the facilities here are impressive. "The facilities are impressive and stadium is beautiful. It has changed a lot since 1982 Asian Games," Usha said.

"Only the finishing touches are lacking and once these are done, the stadium will look even more beautiful and impressive," she added. Usha, however, refused to compare the stadium with other venues she had competed during her illustrious career.

"I can't compare these with others stadiums. After giving the finishing touches, this stadium will be a very good one. I had retired long back and lot of changes have occurred in many venues all around the world," she said.

Published 29 July 2010, 14:51 IST

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