Tintu Luka’s recent successes:
Will she achieve what her guru failed to? P.T. Usha may have missed a medal by a whisker at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, but great expectations are being pinned on Tintu Luka, a rising athletic sensation training under Usha’s watchful eyes. The burden of hope is not small: a gold from the 2012 Olympics in London, no less.
The going has been promising, given her winning spree. Tintu won gold at the National Athletic Championships in Bhopal in October this year and clocked a personal best of 2:53 minutes in the 800 metres event. The same month, she won another at the 49th National Inter-State Athletics meet in Chennai.
The 20-year-old village girl from Kannur district is now readying for the next big event—the 18th Asian Athletic Championships, which began on November 10 in China. Tintu will participate in the 800 metres event at the Guangzhou Olympic Sports Centre on November 13. “I’m sure she will win laurels at Guangzhou,” says Usha. “Gold or silver? That depends on several factors but I won’t stretch her too much, for our real target is the London Olympics.”
O.M. Nambiar, Usha’s former coach and Dronacharya recipient, says middle-distance runners have always been India’s strength so Tintu is the best bet for an international medal. Depending on the competition slots, Tintu sometimes competes in the 400 metres event too. “But 800 metres is her forte,” says Usha, as she puts Tintu through a staggered speed-and-endurance session.
Tintu was brought to Usha’s sports training school in Kinalur, 40 km from Kozhikode, after her uncle saw a notice in a newspaper. “Tintu was fragile and undernourished, but she was aggressive,” says Usha, who now believes the girl could prove the best Indian athlete for years to come. Through training, Tintu, now lean and muscular, has been able to surpass Usha’s yearly targets and that’s the reason for her coach’s confidence in her. Once the China meet is over, Usha will train Tintu for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and seek to better her best by getting her to do 800 metres in 2:02 minutes.
Like Usha, Tintu has had to face hard times. Her father is a mason and struggles to support his wife and three daughters. Tintu had to walk 5 km daily through hilly terrain to get to her school in Kannur. But encouragement from her parents—both excelled in sports at school—was never wanting. Lissy Luka, her mother, was a state-level long-jumper in the 1980s. “Despite our financial difficulties, we encouraged Tintu to take an interest in sports,” she says. “That my daughter has been adopted by Usha, who used to be my role model, is a great boon.”
Asked if she’s tense, Tintu replies, “I’m never tense. I rehearse the event mentally. I pass through every phase of the lap, sticking to my time for each segment, right up to the victory stand.” Which means she already sees herself winning in China. And when she returns, guess what she’ll make a dash for...a plate of Malabari biriyani!
The 800 metres timing you give—2:53 minutes—is so off that even today an untrained P.T. Usha could do it (Graced Lightning, Nov 23)! Please correct: Tintu’s time in Bhopal was 2:03.53, not 2:53 mins.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT