Sunday, 24 June 2012

London Olympics : Athletics - Key Indian Athletes


Athletics is one glamorus part of the Olympics and gets lot of attention and focus from everyone.

India also has some distinct memories associated with these events - the legendary Milkha Singh  and PT Usha are the names that come to mind.

The Past

The Flying Sikh Milkha Singh and PT Usha provided hopes to millions of Indians and nearly got the medals that have alluded us for a long time.

Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh came a close 4th in the 400 metres at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He finished second in all of his 400m races prior to the final,improving his time on each occasion. In the final he finished in fourth place- it required a photo-finish to determine the result. His time was 45.6 seconds and his finishing position was not bettered by an Indian track athlete until the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

PT Usha, known as the "Payyoli Express", was the athlete who reached the heights set by Milkha Singh.  In 1984 LA Olympics, Usha was sure to win an Olympic Medal. However, she lost out in the final and much like Milkha Singh, finished 4th - missing out on the 400 m hurdles bronze by 1/100th of a second. It was a case again of so-near-yet-so-far for India.

PT Usha

[Trivia: Purely from a statistics perspective, India has 2 silvers in 1900 Paris Olympics , won by Norman Pritchard. . IOC regards these medals as credited to India; however, International committees credit these medals to Great Britain.]


Some Indian Athletes to watch out for at London Olympics 2012...

Krishna Poonia

Krishna Poonia (Women's Discus Throw): Poonia threw the discus to a distance of 64.76m to qualify for the London Olympics. She holds the National record. She is expecting to throw over 65m at Olympics and win a medal.

Seema Antil (Women's Discus Throw): Seema achieved the "A" qualififcation mark by a throw of 62.2 metres at an Athletic meet in the US earlier in the year.

Vikas Gowda (Men's discus Throw) : Gowda threw the discuss 64.05 met res and achieved the olympic qualification mark of B standard which was 63 metres.

Tintu Luka (Women's 800m): Luka qualified for the Olympics in the 800 metres at the World championships in Korea last year by making a season best of 2:00.95, and passed through the Olympic qualification standard of 2:01.30. Notably, she is a protege of PT Usha.

Myookha Johny (Women's triple Jump):  Mayookha qualified for 2012 Olympics in triple jump, going past the London Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 14.10m. She jumped 14.10 metres and grabbed the bronze medal at Asian Athletics Championships last year. She became the first Indian women triple jumper to cross 14m mark.

Gurmeet Singh (Men's 20 Km Walk): National champion Gurmeet Singh clocked 1:22:05, finishing 9th in the 20km event held at Phoenix Park, Dublin Sunday. Gurmeet bettered the ‘A’ standard of Olympic qualification 1:22:30.

Hope some of them reach the podium and do the country proud.


Navneet Sharma said...

All the best to indian team.

RN said...

yes lets we get more medals this time.