The flying sikh couldn’t do it, neither could Payyoli Express during their time. India’s wait for a medal in athletics grows longer with each passing year. This time though we have a serious contender to bring India a medal in athletics and it’s none other than the student of PT Usha Herself Tintu Luka. A ward at the PT Usha School of Athletics since 2001, the 27-year-old hails from a very poor background and has come this far by sheer grit and determination.
Tintu Luka would be Competing in the Women’s 800 meters race in the Rio Olympics 2016. Tintu secured her berth for the Olympics back in the heats of the World Championships in Beijing in August last year, her timing of 2:00.95 was enough to book her a place in the plane to Rio. After her dismal show in the Commonwealth 2010 games and the London Olympics 2012 where she was criticized for not having enough endurance which cost her the race as she started well in the both those event,and was leading the pack but failure to end shortly caused her to lose, she has finally worked on that and improvement can be seen, she clinched Silver in the 204 Asian Games and has given some excellent performance in the build up to the games.
Speaking to the Media about her Performance she said
My main strength has been getting quick off the block and starting strong. I’m a fast runner. So I can’t change that and try to become something else. I admit that earlier I had the problem of getting really weak towards the finish line. But I have improved in finishing races. If you look, I haven’t remained the same athlete over the years.My aim is to register a time less than 1:58 and qualify for the finals.
Her Coach The legendary PT Usha also has faith in her student and believes that she can indeed win a medal and in a media interaction recently she said
A timing of under 1:58 is definitely possible because Tintu Luka is at the top of her powers now and has a lot of maturity and experience to handle big moments.I had requested the AIFF to send Tintu for more competitive meets but we had to be satisfied with just two.
Seeing her recent Performance and the amount work she had put in the training it’s almost certain that she would better her 2012 record and go the finals at least, And whether she can covert that to medal or not will be interesting, but as of now she is indeed the best hope among all the Indian athlete to get a medal in athletics for India.