Olympians and international athletes have a combined opinion that India is not a sporting country. They say that dearth of good national competitors pulls them away from performing better in global events.
London Olympics fame discus thrower Krishna Poonia, Tintu Luka, Ranjeet Maheshwary and golden girl PT Usha are in Bhopal to participate in the 78th all India railway athletics championship on Thursday.
Indian athletes are still fighting for identity in Olympics. Krishna Poonia, who finished at seventh position in London Olympics, said, “In India, the numbers of competitors are less. At national level, we have no competitors to fight. Also, because of less international exposure, Indian athletes lag behind.”
Emphasising early training, PT Usha says, “Medal in Olympics is not small thing. There is a need to develop sportsperson especially athletes from the grass-root level to win medal in Olympics. The athletes should start to develop from the school level.”
Krishna Poonia's husband and coach Virender Poonia supported Usha's view, “The training of athletes should start early. Krishna started to play the sports at the age of 17 years which is late for an athlete. She put in much hard work to achieve this position.”
While talking about Krishna's performance in Olympics Virender said, “She performed fabulously. Earlier, the Olympics medal was achieved by throwing discuss at 63-64 metre distance but this year international standard rose immensely. I think she will definitely come back with Olympics medal after four years. Now, Krishna is aiming for Rio Olympics.
PT Usha will also be aiming a medal in the next Olympics. PT Usha said, “The 800m runner Tintu Luka performed well in the London. The government should take care of athletes before results. Government should provide better facilities and exposure to athletes. The financial aids which government provides to athletes after winning medal should start during training.
On doping PT Usha said, “The dope test should start from the small events to control doping case in the country. As I am seeing that even in this championship National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) is present here to test the athletes and I think it’s a great initiative by the organisers.”