After Tintu, Usha has another rising star

PT Usha, the former sprint queen, talks excitedly when mentioning the name of Jessy Joseph, the gold-medal winner in the 800 metres (u-18) at the on-going junior nationals. Till recently such praise was solely reserved for her first prodigy Tintu Luka, whose record Jessy missed out on breaking narrowly.

Jessy had stopped the clock at 2:10.33 while the meet record standing in the name of Luka is 2:10.32, set in 2006. "Jessy has been doing well in the 800. It is quite possible that Jessy too participates in the next Olympics. Right now Jessy is very young, just 16, but after two years I think that she will be giving Luka (23) a run for her money. This competition between the two will be good not only for Tintu and Jessy but also for the country," Usha said.

Tintu is set to participate at international meets abroad, something her coach believes she needs to do as often as possible. "Tintu is undergoing ayurvedic therapy for rejuvenation. She will be participating in competitions outside India in the near future as the more competitions she goes to the better she will get," Usha said.

Talking about lessons learnt from Luka's London experience, Usha admitted that though endurance was an issue it was nothing to lose sleep over. "We will work on her endurance once she gets back to full-load training. Tintu will have enough time to prepare well for the competitions ahead," Usha added.

Records tumble

ANKIT Kumar of Uttar Pradesh clocked 22:17.15 to establish a new national record in the boys' u-16 5000m walk. With this timing, Ankit erased the decade-old national record of 22:48.20 established by Manipur walker M Lokendra Singh.

Navjit Kaur of Punjab set a new national record in the girls' u-18 discus with a throw of 49.54m. Poonam Singh of UP established a new meet record in the girls' u-20 3000m with a timing of 9:58.99. P Vishnuvardhan Reddy of Andhra set a new meet mark in the boys' u-14 high jump event with an effort of 1.79m.

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