2019 World Athletics Championships
Milkha Singh not optimistic about athletics medal in Olympics
Former track and field sprinter Milkha Singh is not quite optimistic about Indian athletes making strides in the Olympics in the coming years.
With the curtain already up at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, former track and field sprinter Milkha Singh is not optimistic about Indian athletes making strides in the Olympics in the coming years. Speaking on the sidelines of the Indian Sports Honours 2019, Milkha said that he does not see an Indian winning a medal in the field of athletics in the Olympics in the future.
For decades, injuries and inconsistency have troubled Indian athletes. With less than a year to go for the Olympics, the mood isn’t quite as optimistic -- as the 92-year-old Milkha told PTI, “Till now, I don’t see anyone who can win a medal in athletics in Olympics.” The legendary sprinter informed that he would be bestowed with an award during the programme, which is being instituted by Virat Kohli and RP-SG.
Milkha came to limelight after finishing fourth in the 400m final in the historic 1960 Rome Olympics, while Randhawa finished fifth in the 110m hurdles in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. P.T. Usha finished fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, while Anju Bobby George came fifth in the 2004 Athens Games.
Milkha, however, exhorted, “If we have to win a medal in the Olympics, we will have to keep the athletes in one place and train them. Then (only) we can win a gold medal in the Olympics.” At this juncture, one can only be hopeful of India’s chances of adding to its lone medal (long jump bronze medal by Anju Bobby George) at the World Championships this year.
India, however, had a disappointing start to its athletics campaign at the World Championships as only MP Jabir’s performance was notable on Day 1 in Doha. Jabir finished third with a timing of 49.62 seconds in Heat 1 of men’s 400m Hurdles of IAAF World Championships and qualified for semifinals. India’s hope was also pitted upon 400m hurdler Dharun Ayyasamy, the national record holder, who tumbled after the last hurdle in his heat and failed to qualify for the semifinals. While everyone was eagerly looking forward to M Sreeshankar’s performance, the expectations went dry as he failed to reach the final after finishing 22nd in the qualification round with a below-par effort.