Seventh best not good enough for Roy

Anju Bobby George has jumped to fourth place in the latest IAAF world rankings list despite a poor showing at the Commonwealth Games.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 18:33 IST

Anju Bobby George has jumped to fourth place in the latest IAAF world rankings list despite a poor showing at the Commonwealth Games.

And she was not the only one who did that. Sushmita Singha Roy, on the back of her score of 5872 at the Federation Cup in New Delhi earlier this month, now stands seventh on the list of season's top performances by heptathletes worldwide.

It isn't quite seventh heaven for Sushmita, who along with Soma Biswas resumed training at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Thursday after landing here late on Wednesday night.

The 21-year-old is upset with her performance in Melbourne, and not everything that went wrong there could be attributed to fate.

That she was disqualified despite finishing first in the 200m heats for four steps that fell on the adjacent lane was also not just bad luck.

"Sushmita wears contact lenses and during the event, there was a strong breeze. Her vision got blurred due to that," coach Kuntal Roy said.

This was a problem they had not faced before. Now, Sushmita plans to use sports glasses, for the 1000-point loss due to disqualification is a damage of remarkable proportions.

But Roy felt the real hindrance lay in Sushmita's food habits. "There was every possible dish on offer. Yet, Sushmita lived just on fruits and fruit juices.

We had gone there early to get ourselves acclimatised.

Instead, staying so many days abroad became a problem for Sushmita and her blood pressure dipped to 95/55. She also had high fever and recovered only a couple of days before the event.

"Strangely, she did not have such problems in South Africa. This, I thought, was a learning experience for me as well.

Soma did not have such problems and she is more adaptive," Roy said. Things went further down when Sushmita injured her big toe just before the 800m.

Both Soma and Sushmita are now preparing for the World Combined meet, to be held in Desenzano, Italy, on May 12 and 13. "Both have got wild cards. The tournament director has, in a letter, said that their stay there from May 10 to 15 will be taken care of by the organisers," Roy said.

While the CII has promised to sponsor Soma's ticket to Milan and back, Roy was not sure whether Sushmita's trip would be covered by her new backers, the Mittal Trust.

"It could be because we went to Melbourne soon after they signed Sushmita.

But even if this trip does not come under their sponsorship, Sushmita will go there," Roy said. It was learnt that someone from the Trust would be here next week to chalk everything out. "Sushmita's programme has already been charted by her Finn manager (Mika Jarvinen) and Roy.

The only things yet to be sorted out is whether she will train abroad and some other technical aspects," former National tennis champion and now with the Trust management Manisha Malhotra said.

First Published: Apr 02, 2006 18:16 IST