Save Budhia for the future: PT Usha
The ex-sprint queen has asked Orissa Govt to restrain the kid from running.india Updated: May 09, 2006 14:25 IST
Expressing shock over four and half years-old Budhia Singh's marathon run, former sprint queen PT Usha on Tuesday said that it amounted to risking the boy's life and wanted the Orissa Government to go ahead with restraining him from attempting such long-distance in future.
"It is simply incredible... How can you permit a four and half year-old to run 65 kms when it is difficult for him to run even one km at this age," Usha said.
Noting that it was up to the medical experts to ascertain how the child prodigy possessed so much resistance at a tender age, Usha, one of the best athletes the country has ever produced, said Budhia was bound to suffer from cardiological stress and other major ailments by running long distance.
"Let us find out his real health condition and preserve his talent. If Budhia can run long distances at this age, he has to be protected and groomed for the future," she said.
Appealing to the Orissa Government to restrain the child from running such long distances at this age, Usha, who missed an Olympic bronze by a whisker when she was at her helm, said the boy's parents should wait for the right time to showcase his talent.
On Budhia's coach receiving flak from various quarters for allegedly making the boy run the marathon, she asked, "Will we run our children at this age only for the sake of fame?".
"Although I am training children aged 12 at my Usha School of Athletics here, they will hit the track only after three or four years, she said, adding exposing children to such strain at a very young age amounted to risking their lives.
Usha said it was quite natural for Budhia's parents to feel overwhelmed by seeing their child make it to the record books by running 65 km in 7.02 hours.
"But they should also know that the happiness will be short-lived despite such feats bringing in lot of name and fame," she said.
Referring to the report of the four-member medical board that examined Budhia soon after he ran the marathon, the ace athlete said it was on expected lines that it could prove disastrous to the boy's health.
Usha said Budhia should be trained under a qualified athletic coach at a recognised sports institution to hone his running skills "rather than exploiting him now".
On the ongoing works at her training school coming up on the land allotted by the Kerala Government at Balussery near here, the 'Payyoli Express' said while preparatory works for laying of track was complete, construction of the hostel would be taken up only after the rainy season.
Usha is presently training children at rented premises in Koilandy in the district.