Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Monday promised support to former Olympic track and field athlete P T Usha's athletics school. Rijiju and the 'Golden Girl of India' also discussed the challenges faced by athletes of the country.
Taking to Twitter, the Sports Minister wrote:
'Golden Girl' of India- PT Usha. In 1986 Seoul Asian Games, India won 5 Gold Medals and she alone won 4 Gold Medals in 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and 4×400 relay and 1 Silver in 100m ! We discussed about challenges for athletics in India. Will provide support her athletics School. pic.twitter.com/VDxxX2XYHU— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 9, 2020
Usha who remains one of India's most accomplished athletes with 11 medals at the Asian Games, had retired in 2000 with a promise to nurture a new crop of athletes. The Usha School of athletics, formed in 2002 has consistently managed to produce athletes for the country.
Tintu Luka who has been trained in Usha school of athletics won two gold medals at the Asian Championships. The athlete also won a gold medal in the women's 4x400m relay and a silver in the 800m at the 2014 Asian Games.
Rijiju on Sunday claimed India is progressing in the right direction to become a sporting powerhouse in the years to come as there is no dearth of talent in the country. While addressing a gathering on the sidelines of an event in the national capital about India's preparations for this year's Tokyo Olympics, the Sports Minister assured things are progressing in the right direction and the country will send its biggest-ever Olympic contingent for the mega event in Tokyo.
"The preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are going in full swing and even as we speak some of our athletes are participating in the Olympic qualifiers. We are hopeful of sending our biggest-ever Olympic contingent this year and we hope for a better medal haul in Tokyo," the Sports Minister said.
(With agency inputs)