P T Usha hopeful of 2012 Olympic medals in athletics

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Jamshedpur, Oct 27 (UNI) Former sprint queen P T Usha has asserted that the Indian athletes have the potential to win medals in athletics at the London Olympics in 2012 but she was not optimistic of their prospects in next year's Bejing Olympics.

Ms Usha was here to assess the performance of two cadets of her academy, who participated in the 47th Naitonal Open Athletics meet which ended here yesterday.

Ms Usha, who runs her residential academy ''Usha School of Athletics'' in Kozhikode, said at present she was looking after 11 budding and talented young girls aged between 11 to 17 years and hoped that these girls would shine in the national and international arena within two to three years.

''In fact, two of the athletes of my academy, Tinu Luka and Sonia, have the potential to perform in the big stage and they have already won medals in the National School Games and Junior National Meet recently. Tinu also fetched a bronze medal and Sonia stood fourth in the Jamshedpur meet,'' the Padmashree awardee said.

''I want to give exposure to my girls from the tender age so that they can do better in future,'' Ms Usha said.

About the prospects of her academy, Ms Usha said, ''My academy is quite different from the academies run by Tata Steel and others.

While I groom the athletes from young age and monitor them personally, the corporate academies recruit stars and already established athletes.'' Asked about her opinion on recruitment of foreign coaches, Ms Usha said, ''Foreign coaches are good but Indian coaches are also equally good and I personally feel that Indian coaches can do even better.'' Ms Usha, who had narrowly missed a bronze medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, said she cherished three dreams - bagging of Olympic medals by Indian athletes, providing good facilites to them and upgrading their skills upto the International level.

UNI

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